Majority Of Brits Want Total Control Over Their Online Data

BCS study finds that many of us are also unhappy with how companies collect data from us

British consumers are increasingly distrustful of the way that their personal data is being captured and stored online, according to new figures.

A study by the Chartered Institute for IT, the BCS, found that 89 percent of people in Great Britain think they should be able to control what information a company collects about them online, and what it uses this data for.

Overall, the study also discovered that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of adults said that they aren’t really happy with the way companies collect and use data about them, but they don’t feel there’s much they can do about it,

Compared to this, only 26 percent said that they understood that companies need to collect data about them in order to provide them with services, and were ultimately happy with how it works.

Data control

data breachForty-four percent of adults online said they would be happy to use a service which offered a guarantee from the provider regarding the safety and security of all the personal data collected about them and their online activities (e.g. name, address, date of birth, purchases made etc.), and give them control over who has access to it and how it is used, but wouldn’t be willing to pay for it.

And around one in five (19 percent) said that they agreed receiving discounts or a more personalised services (such as having specific products recommended based on past purchases) was a fair price to pay for companies collecting their personal data without knowing what they are collecting or how they are using it.

“Every day we are presented with the stark contrast between how personal data affects us and what we want, both as individuals and organisations. We’ve become used to it, but when we reflect on it, things simply aren’t right,” said David Evans, director of policy at BCS.

“Terms and conditions mean we’re given an ultimatum when we want a conversation. Vulnerable people can be hounded even by organisations they should have a positive relationship with.  It feels that we can’t trust big household names to look after or use our data as we’d want them to. Yet organisations are also carrying risks and frustrated by constraints, and that isn’t good for business. Personal data is not working for anyone; we need to come together and fix it.”

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