92% Of UK Adults Reluctant To Share Personal Data With Social Networks

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A recent study from professional services company EY suggests that UK adults are more comfortable sharing personal details with government bodies than with private sector organisations such as social media platforms.

The study examined the attitudes of 2,000 UK consumers towards personal information sharing. The results revealed that consumers have become more careful as to what they reveal about themselves online, with 92% admitting they feel reluctant to give social networks access to such information and the rest saying they feel at ease about doing so, The Drum reports. Around 50% of respondents stated that their experience with social networks has made them less willing to share personal information, while 40% claimed they have now restricted access to their private information on social media channels.

At the same time, trust in government bodies was found to be significantly higher, with 55% of respondents stating they were more willing to share personal data with central government bodies such as the NHS, HM Revenue and Customs as opposed to private sector businesses that provide daily services.

The research reflects the shift in attitudes and practices surrounding personal data, Steve Wilkinson of EY commented. Nowadays, people are broadly aware of the risks of revealing sensitive information online and they increasingly try to protect it by limiting access to it, he said.

Meanwhile, other private sector businesses were found to be trusted more than social media, with 32% of respondents indicating they would be happy to share personal data with financial institutions and slightly over a quarter showing willingness to give access to such information to their energy provider. 20% of UK consumers were happy to allow supermarkets to view their personal data. Trust in search engines and mobile apps were found to be the lowest, at 7% and 5%, respectively.