KPMG: UK Consumers Favor Privacy Over Convenience

An overwhelming majority of UK consumers favor privacy over sharing their data to improve convenience, according to a new study from KPMG.

The global consultancy polled 7,000 consumers in 24 countries worldwide to better understand attitudes to data security and privacy.

In the UK, the balance between privacy and convenience appeared to come down in favor of the former, with 60% of respondents seriously concerned about the way companies handle and use their personal information and a third feeling they have no control over it at all.

Many found it “creepy” the way apps access personal data (67%); and adverts (77%) and billboards (85%) that can be personalized based on purchasing behavior.

However, where there’s a genuine use case – such as car tracking devices for the emergency services (78%) and smart meters (66%) – most were happy about sharing data.

Interestingly, the report also found that healthcare providers and banks were most trusted with consumers’ data, while social media and gaming companies were branded least trustworthy.

This is despite the NHS accounting for by far the majority of data breach incidents reported to the ICO in the last quarter (43%).

Financial institutions fared better (6%), although recent research from compliance firm Neopay found millennials more trusting of tech companies like Apple to handle their money than banks.

“Our research suggests that millennials are no different to gen X when it comes to this, but what is clear that the privacy expectations do differ across the world and between different people. Privacy can enable trust but getting it wrong can completely destroy it,” KPMG global privacy lead, Mark Thompson told Infosecurity.

“Organizations need to recognize the privacy expectations of customers and the need to meet these expectations is critical. Increasing transparency is hugely important to creating a trusted relationship. Thus it’s paramount that businesses make sure they keep their promises about how personal data will be collected, used, retained, disclosed and destroyed.”

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