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Just a quarter of Brits trust businesses with our personal data

But a third of us – a whole third! – would give it to UK.gov

By Alexander J Martin, 16 Jun 2016

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published a survey into the British public's approach to personal data, showing widespread distrust in others' handling of it.

According to the commish himself, Christopher Graham, 2016's issue of annual research shows that "consumers are taking up the fight to protect their own personal data."

Less than a quarter of the public trusted businesses with their personal data, though more than half did trust high street banks with it. This "ought to be a real wake up call to some sectors," added Graham. "Consumer mistrust is never good for business."

According to the ICO's reading of the Annual Track 2016 publication consumers "have a clear awareness of the action they can take to protect their own personal data."

70 per cent of those surveyed "regularly check bank and credit card statements for irregular activity," while more than half are attentive to computer hygiene, the proper means of disposing of personal documents, and the importance of using different passwords for different online services.

Millennials were less likely than older generations to safeguard their personal data, and while 97 per cent of the population knew about the Data Protection Act, only 16 per cent of the population is aware of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.

The survey shows that while 53% of people said they trusted High Street banks with their information, that dropped to 36% for Government departments, 32% for High Street retailers and 22% for internet brands.

People’s concerns were focused on their information being stolen by criminals, used to make nuisance calls or sold to other companies for marketing.

The survey also showed that a quarter of the population has installed an ad blocker on their web browser or smartphone, and 75 per cent of those questioned thought it was important that data protection was taught in schools. ®

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