ODI survey reveals British consumer attitudes to sharing personal data

Feb 13, 2018 · theodi.org

Annual report poll  no text 2

The Open Data Institute (ODI) has released findings from new consumer research, conducted online by YouGov, revealing current attitudes of British adults online towards sharing personal data. The full dataset can be viewed here under an open licence.

The findings show that:

Age matters - Young adults were generally more comfortable sharing information about themselves, compared to their parents’ generation.

- 1 in 5 18-24 year-olds said they would feel comfortable sharing their date of birth to an organisation they didn't know. For 45-54 year-olds, the figure was just 8%.

- 38% of 18-24 year olds said they would be happy to share data about their spending habits to help save them money via things such as new savings accounts, insurance policies, shopping discounts, this fell to just 15% of over 55s.

- One in four young British adults trust social media platforms with their data, compared to just one in twenty of their parents’ generation.

Trust and knowledge of organisations increase consumers’ likelihood to share personal data about them.

- 94% said trust was important in deciding whether to share personal data.

- 64% would share some personal data with an organisation they know, compared to just 36% for an organisation they don’t.

Healthcare organisations are most trusted

- The survey indicates that most consumers (64%) trust the NHS and healthcare organisations with personal data about them, ranking top ahead of friends and family (57%), banks (57%), local government (41%) and online retailers (22%).

- Just one in ten trust social media organisations such as Facebook and Twitter with personal data about them, as echoed in the report published recently by Dunnhumby and the ODI looking at opportunities in the retail grocery sector thanks to the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation.

Data skills need to be improved

- One in three (34%) respondents say nothing would make them feel more comfortable about sharing personal data about themselves.

- Organisations need to explain to customers how personal data about them will be used and shared. A third (33%) of respondents said this would make them feel more comfortable sharing data.

- Just 9% said they already feel comfortable about sharing data about themselves. 33% said they would feel more comfortable if an organisation provided an explanation of how it intended to use or share the data; and 18% would welcome step by step instructions from an organisation about how to share data safely.

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