Only 20% UK population trust you with their data – ICO

Most UK citizens don’t trust organisations with their data, says the privacy watchdog. Hardly a reassuring fact as we try and prep for GDPR…

Posted 13 November 2017 at 9:04am by

Only one in five of the UK have “trust and confidence” in companies and organisations storing their personal information – but if pushed, they’d rather the public sector looks after it than the private.

And possibly even worse, as the UK tries to get its head round those stringent – and imminent – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes – British adults are still “broadly unfamiliar with the specifics” of how their personal data is being used by companies and organisations in the UK.

Indeed, only one in ten told ComRes researchers they have “a good understanding” of how their personal data is used.

The market research firm was working on behalf of the official privacy watchdog – the ICO.

Its data probe also found that

  • UK citizens are more likely to trust public bodies than private companies or organisations when it comes to holding or sharing their personal information
  • 61% say they have trust and confidence in the NHS or local GP to store and use their personal information, while half say the same of the police (53%) or national government departments and organisations (49%)
  • One in ten UK adults (12%) say they have trust and confidence in social messaging platforms storing and using their personal information
  • Less than one in ten (8%) of UK adults say they have a good understanding of how their personal data is made available to third parties and the public by companies and organisations in the UK
  • And finally, older UK adults are more likely than their younger counterparts to say they have “little trust and confidence in companies and organisations storing and using their personal information”.

“We want to see improvements in these figures – it’s time for organisations to start building the UK public’s trust and confidence in how data is used and made available,” warned the organisation’s Deputy Commissioner, Steve Woods.

“[GDPR] requires organisations to be more accountable for data protection, and this is a real commitment to putting the consumer at the heart of business,” he added.

“By now organisations should be aware of the changes to data protection law next May. It’s no longer acceptable to see the law as a box ticking exercise. Organisations will need to be accountable, to their customers and to the regulator.”