Brits trust banks with their personal data

Banks and health providers are the most trusted by consumers when it comes to handling personal data, but on the flipside, social media and gaming companies are considered the least trustworthy, according to a new report on privacy from KPMG.

There’s a lack of trust in social media companies

The survey of nearly 7000 consumers in 24 countries, comprising of 500 UK respondents, also indicated that they felt that social media companies and retailers ask for too much unnecessary personal information. But the study showed that in the UK, it’s not about the amount of personal information required by companies that’s the issue, but which companies that ask for it, as people are generally accepting of the amount of personal information asked for by health providers, education & training organisations and law enforcement bodies.

Stronger cyber security systems

“Businesses need to do more to ensure customers trust them with their personal data.” Said Mark Thompson, Global Privacy Lead at KPMG. “Our survey has found that the most effective things an organisation can do to assure people that they can be trusted with their data is to demonstrate strong cyber security systems are in place (32%), be clear on what they intend to do with personal information (27%) and give assurance it won’t be shared with third parties without consent (24%).”

Concerns over how data is handled…

The report went on to find that nearly three out of five people in the UK are seriously concerned about the way companies handle and use their personal information, and over a third feel they have no control over it at all.

An overwhelming 80% of the respondents highlighted that control of their privacy is data. The key worries were around hackers and companies selling to a third party.

“An executive would be at risk of being fired if half their customer base disappeared after they made a crucial business decision,” said Thompson. “Failure to embed privacy into the DNA of their business strategy could ultimately lead to the extinction of a business given how closely consumers and regulators alike are paying attention to how organisations collect, store and use personal data.”

‘Creepy’ versus ‘cool’

When it comes to the attitudes on the usages of personal data, consumers across the UK often draw the line in dramatically different places.

Consumer found the following things ‘creepy’:

  • 67% said that apps that accessing personal data is creepy
  • 85% of respondents found personalised billboards based on your previous purchase behaviour creepy
  • 77% found personalised adverts based on your personal emails creepy

But were happy to share their personal data in some cases:

  • 66% of respondents were fine with their energy provider monitoring usage of smart meters.
  • 78% were happy with tracking devices in cars for use by emergency services

“For companies seeking to use personal data to personalise their marketing and services to the individual, build brand loyalty and develop better products, it is important they understand that although opinions on privacy vary, it is clear that, more than anything, consumers value privacy over convenience,” concluded Thompson.


Edited from press release by Jordan Platt.


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