Joel Muckett 1 Nov 2017 05:43pm

Trust in businesses drops amid privacy concerns

Consumers’ trust in businesses has fallen, with eight in 10 (85%) siting cyber security and privacy risks as their main concerns

Only a quarter of consumers (25%) believe companies will handle their sensitive personal data responsibly, while even less (15%) believe they will benefit from its use, a PwC Consumer Intelligence Survey revealed.

Of the 2,000 American consumers surveyed, only 12% said they trusted companies more than they did a year ago and a sixth (17%) said they trusted them more today than a decade ago.

However, 88% admitted their willingness to share personal information depended on how much they trusted the company.

Most respondents (85%) said they would not do business with a company they had security concerns about and 71% said they would stop doing business with a company entirely if their information was given away without their permission.

Around the same number (87%) said they would go elsewhere if they did not think the company was handling their data responsibly.

A majority of respondents (92%) wanted to have control of the information available about them on the internet, while nearly nine in ten (87%) wanted the ability to remove it if it hurt their reputation.

In terms of transparency, nine in ten (91%) consumers felt companies should notify them of all data breaches and 71% found the provided privacy rules too difficult to understand.

While over half (60%) of consumers believed companies should be held responsible for the data’s protection, but 82% wanted the government to regulate how it was used.

Hospitals and banks (42%) were the most trusted when it came to privacy and cyber security concerns, with entertainment, (6%) and marketing and advertising businesses (3%) being trusted the least.

Last month, PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey found that one in five (17%) organisations in the UK were ill prepared for the event of a cyber attack, despite an increase in frequency and severity.

In September, Big Four firm Deloitte suffered a cyber attack in which hackers were said to have accessed the clients’ personal details.