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A third of UK consumers would trade email address for entry to competitions

Tuesday February 24, 2015 at 10:49pm
Nearly half of all UK consumers – 49% -- say they are worried their data is not safe with businesses or government – yet one third would provide their email address for the chance to enter a prize draw or competition, a quarter would do so for cash and just under one fifth to get a free app, according to e new report on consumer attitudes to data privacy. Surveying 7,000 people across Europe, Symantec’s 2015 State of Privacy Report found that 59% of Britons said they had experienced a data protection issue in the past. But Symantec suggests that while consumers claim to be reluctant to share personal information, and while it believes that it is just a matter of time until security concerns cause a reduction in selected online activity, consumer actions do not always seem to reflect their anxieties. Although only 21% of British consumers trust retailers to keep their information safe, online shopping is still growing and only one in five take the time to read terms and conditions in full before sharing their personal information. However, Symantec’s survey found that 53% of UK consumers now avoid posting personal data online in order to protect their privacy and one in three people give fake personal data so that their real information remains private. In light of these findings, Symantec suggests that we are at a tipping point, and there is a need for businesses to turn data security to their advantage by ensuring policies and procedures are robust and that security is communicated to customers as a reason to engage with them. Security of their data has evolved to become a priority for consumers and the sooner businesses realise this the more they can take a competitive advantage from it, Symantec argues. The research also suggests that consumers are beginning to understand the value of their data, with 18% valuing their information at over €10,000. Consumer also believe that data security is just as important as high quality products and services or good customer services when choosing who to shop with. Darren Thomson, CTO and VP of technology for Symantec EMEA, says: “The IT industry has an opportunity to assist the consumer in making sensible choices around data privacy. The State of Privacy report shows that many consumers today are considering what their data might be worth to others. Businesses should act now to demonstrate the security of personal data they hold; in turn, this will enable them to grow their business with accurate data and a loyal customer base.” Key UK findings from Symantec’s State of Privacy Report include: 59% of consumers want to better protect their personal details but are unsure how to actually go about protecting their personal details; 68% of consumers across the EU believe that medical institutions are the most trustworthy with personal data. Technology companies (23%), retailers (21%) and social media companies (12%), are the least trusted; Consumers are divided about who the responsibility lies with to provide adequate data protection. Government (32%), businesses (28%) and consumers (40%) were seen to have equal responsibility on protecting information; 75% of people think their data has value and a lot of it, with over 55% believing that their data is worth over €1,000; The majority of people feel it is not fair that companies profit from trading in their personal data. However more than three in 10 online users (36%) would trade in their email address for benefits. Symantec’s 2015 State of Privacy report details the findings of research into the general public’s perceptions and attitudes towards protection their information. Surveying 7,000 people across Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK in December 2014, the report explores consumer behaviour around data protection, and uncovers consumer perception on the value of data. Additionally, the report identifies specific levels of trust in businesses and governments to protect personal information. A data protection issue is defined as a violation of the official principles of The Data Protection Act, which controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses of the government. Symantec Corporation is an information protection expert that operates one of the largest global data-intelligence networks and provides security, backup and availability solutions for the storage of vital information.
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