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Take the person out of personal data, UK customers demand

August 2019 by Trūata

A new survey by Trūata highlights that customers are more worried than ever about the way their data is used and shared by companies, particularly for analytics. The Trūata Customer State of Mind Survey discovered that 60% of 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%) internet users are worried that their personal data could be used to commit fraud against them if stolen in a data breach.

And this concern can have a big impact on brands. Only 17% of customers would trust a company with their personal data if that company was reported to have misused customer data. These results reflect recent concerns raised by data regulators at the ICO, who also found a significant lack of costumer trust in the data security of organisations.

But our survey shows confidence rises when customers know that their data has been anonymised, removing all identifiable information from data sets. More than half (55%) 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, anonymisation needs to be implemented correctly. Recent academic research, has demonstrated how easy it is to obtain personal details from datasets that have only been de-identified. For total security, anonymisation needs to be conducted independently, by experts using cutting-edge techniques.

This level of transparency and responsibility with data is critical for companies seeking to inspire trust in their relationships with customers. Nearly two-thirds (65%) 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%) say they would actually spend more money with a company if they feel their data is protected. This connection between trust with data and willingness to spend more is most pronounced with younger customers – more than half (54%) 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,” comments Felix Marx, CEO, 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.”

Research methodology
The research was conducted by Arlington Research with a respondent base of 2000 UK adults aged 18+, with nationally representative quotas achieved for gender, age and region (+/- 2%). Research fieldwork was completed between 4th – 7th July 2019.

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