Consumers cagey about data privacy online
26 June 2012 - 13:16
A study carried out by the Future Foundation has found that UK consumers are only happy to part with their private information online if they feel they can trust the company which is requesting it.
We give away all sorts of data every time we carry out safe shopping online, largely in order to complete a transaction and get a product delivered. However, it seems that customers are reluctant to commit information to a retailer in much the same way as they are cautious about handing out cash.
Most people are resigned to the fact that information has become a new form of online currency, with 80 per cent of the 1020 people questioned as part of the survey, saying that they had accepted that parting with it was an unavoidable part of the internet experience.
Thirty three per cent of respondents said that they believed they were entitled to free services and perks if they give away personal information to websites, since data is clearly valuable when it comes to targeted advertising and encouraging people to carry out safe shopping online.
Despite the growing levels of acceptance that come with the increased use of personal information during online transactions, 85 per cent of people stated that they would want to be the masters of their own data, harnessing it only when it is to their advantage.
This comes into the debate over whether or not websites should be allowed to place 'cookies' on your computer to monitor your usage of their service and general browsing habits. UK sites are now obliged to get the agreement of the visitor before this can take place, which is a boon for those who value privacy, while still allowing people to part with information in exchange for other benefits if they wish.