60 percent of UK consumers not happy with their data being used for analytics

personal data

Customers are more worried than ever about the way their data is used and shared by companies, particularly for analytics, according to a new report.

The Customer State of Mind survey from data protection specialist Trūata shows 60 percent of UK customers are uneasy with companies using their personal data for analytics. Recent high-profile data leaks have also added to this negative perception of the way personal data is managed by brands.

In fact, more than seven in ten (71 percent) internet users are worried that their personal data could be used to commit fraud against them if it were stolen in a data breach. Only 17 percent say they would trust a company with their personal data if that company was reported to have misused customer data.

When data has been anonymized though, removing all identifiable information from data sets, confidence rises. More than half (55 percent) of customers born after 1979 say they would be willing to share more of their personal data with companies, on the condition of total anonymity. But to achieve this, anonymization needs to be implemented correctly. 65 percent of online shoppers are more likely to be loyal to a company if they trust them to use their data properly, while almost half (48 percent) say they would actually spend more money with a company if they felt their data was protected.

This connection between trust with data and willingness to spend more is most pronounced among younger customers -- 54 percent of those under 26 years old would spend more money with companies they trust with their personal data.

"This erosion of customer trust in businesses, brands and institutions needs tackling now. Reputational damage can happen in an instant but will take significant time and resource to recover from," says Felix Marx, CEO at Trūata. "Data can be the driver of growth and innovation. But we need to strike a balance between data utility and customer privacy. The future belongs to brands which operate with integrity and find a way to unlock the potential of their data without compromising privacy."

You can read the full report on the Trūata site.

Image credit: kenary820 / Shutterstock

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