Decreasing trust among Europeans in how organisations use their personal data
Published on: 21st Feb 2014
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
European consumers are increasingly wary about how their information is being used, do not feel in control, and do not believe there are any resources to help educate them on how to manage their data online, according to an Orange survey.
Indeed, over three-quarters (78%) state that it is hard to trust companies when it comes to the way they use consumer personal data, and an identical figure (78%) feel that service providers hold too much information about consumer behaviour and preferences.
Meanwhile, 82% feel they have little power to control the way their personal data is used by organisations.
While there are opportunities for both consumers and service providers that can be built on intelligent, consensual and responsible use of consumer data - trustworthy data use is increasingly a fundamental requirement, and is having a greater impact on companies' overall reputations.
In fact, 29% of consumers trust companies less over the past year in general, while 16% report more and 55% have neither more nor less trust, clearly illustrating that trust is in decline.
"Faced with the rapid development of uses of consumer data, more needs to be done to help consumers understand and manage how their personal data is used," Daniel Gurrola, Vice President, Business Vision, Orange, said. "In 2013, Orange made a commitment to our customers and the European Commission to increase transparency and control1. We have started on this journey with increased transparency and new services such as Orange's personal data dashboard, but this research shows that we, as an industry, have much more to do."
Which organisations do you trust less / more than a year ago?
- Financial institutions: 31% of respondents trust less than a year ago (21% trust more)
- Device manufacturers: 19% less / (18% more)
- Mobile operators: 26% less / (16% more)
- Internet service providers: 26% less / (16% more)
- App developers: 26% less / (13% more)
- Social networks: 46% less / (12% more)
The research shows that the treatment of personal data is a primary driver of consumer trust in organisations, and is almost as important as the quality of the core services that an organisation delivers. Trust in organisations to use personal data online also varies by vertical sector, with financial institutions being most, and social networks being least trusted:
The research also demonstrates that consumers today do not think they are well informed about how their data is used or how to manage it, and there is currently no clear consumer champion to educate them. Consumer bodies are doing the best job, but the relatively low figures suggest there is a need for improvement across the board:
Fundamentally, consumers want the balance redressed in order to gain greater control of their personal data and benefit more from sharing their data.