New IBM Poll Shows UK Consumers’ Savvy on Data Privacy – and Their Evolving Expectations for Businesses

2019 IBM Privacy study, conducted online by The Harris Poll finds that half of Britons have personal experience with data breaches
Oct 14, 2019

London, UK - 14 October 2019: IBM today launched results from its 2019 IBM Privacy study across 11 countries in the Americas, Europe, and East Asia, revealing that consumers across the globe are savvy about what happens to their data, and are demanding transparency and control over where their data goes. The poll extended to the United Kingdom, where Harris polled 1000 adults on their attitudes towards data privacy. 

More than half the public across all measured countries know that their data is being shared. In the UK, about 7 out of 10 consumers know that their data is always or most of the time shared. In fact, 82% said that consumers have lost all control over how personal information is used by companies. 

The poll results also indicate that consumers are dissatisfied with the way many businesses are handling their data. 94% of consumers in the UK agree that businesses should be doing more to protect their data – and across in the board in the 11 countries polled, over half of all consumers agree. Consumers in the UK report that it’s actually more important for businesses to protect their data than provide a quality product, in fact:

·       69% of UK consumers value how the company protects their data 

·       66% of UK consumers value the quality of the product 

·       42% of UK consumers value a companies impact on the environment and community around them

“Data privacy and data control have become commodities that consumers value highly, they are now demanding to understand and have control over where their data goes. These consumers shouldn’t have to compromise on data integrity for a quality product, or vice versa. Businesses have a real and urgent responsibility to build data protection into their offerings, which is where technology can help. Innovation around data privacy is one of the biggest opportunities in tech today. Watch this space as companies begin to adopt this new paradigm and integrate it into their businesses” said Martin Borrett, Distinguished Engineer and CTO, IBM Security Europe.

When it comes to privacy, UK consumers are not just concerned about the protection of data, but control of their data. 62% percent of UK consumers surveyed said whether a company shares data with third parties is important when deciding whether or not to do business with a company. Taking the next step, 55% of all UK consumers say they have opted not to work with a business due to concerns about whether they could keep their data secure. 

·       85% said that if a company shares their data without their permission, they will not do business with them 

·       84% say they think about whether they trust a company to keep their information safe before they buy something from them 

UK consumers place the responsibility of how the data is being handled on the business. 56% say that the business should play a great deal in developing a clear understanding of the use of personal data. And consumers value multiple ways that businesses should keep their data safe.  

·       70% think the use of encryption and identity theft protection security measures is important 

·       67% value the company’s clear promise to protect customer data 

As consumers in the UK become savvier and more consumer-friendly solutions are developed to negotiate data exchange, new tools become increasingly important. In particular, consumers value the ability to rescind personal data as a way for companies to build trust with customers. 

·       66% of UK consumers value the ability to take back or fully retrieve their personal data 

·       72% of UK consumers value the ability to opt-out of having their data shared with third parties 

·       Of those polled in the UK, 79% agree they would be more willing to share personal information if there was a way to fully take back and retrieve the data at any time 

·       75% of UK consumers would be willing to share their personal information if a company could demonstrate that it could monitor how their data was being used 

Read more about IBM’s privacy study here

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