Confidence in data protection 'essential for business growth'

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Businesses must demonstrate they can be trusted with sensitive consumer information

Consumers must have confidence that the security of their personal data is not being put at risk by companies to better deliver business growth in the years ahead.

This is the conclusion of a new report from technology innovation promoter Digital Catapult, which revealed that almost two-thirds (60 per cent) of UK consumers do not feel comfortable sharing their personal information with businesses at present.

Neil Crockett, chief executive officer of Digital Catapult, argued that a mistrust of companies to properly protect this sensitive information could be having a significant detrimental impact on the ability of many firms to make full use of the opportunities being presented to them as the economic recovery continues to take hold.

"To deliver the best digital services and drive economic growth, we must ensure [the public] trust businesses to use their information in the right way," Mr Crockett stated.

"In doing this we not only create new and more productive citizen and consumer digital solutions, we give the UK a real chance in being a leader in a new wave of digital tools and approaches to solve a global problem."

According to the results of Digital Catapult's research, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents to the study highlighted fears that their personal information could be being shared without their consent.

Meanwhile, the number one concern for 76 per cent of respondents was an inability to control how their data was used and who it was shared with once it was handed over.

Furthermore, one-fifth (21 per cent) of those taking the survey felt that they should be reimbursed by businesses for the use of their personal information, with 61 per cent of this group stating their information should be worth at least £30 each month.