Trust in data protection almost non-existent

Trust in data protection almost non-existent

Surfers reveal fears about safety of personal information

A survey of 2,000 UK adults has shown that internet users trust almost no-one with securing their data.

While nearly three quarters of those surveyed felt that companies holding such data should be responsible for its protection, very few believe that organisations are trustworthy enough to do so.

Barely half of those surveyed trust banks to look after their data, and only a quarter trust the government.

Fewer than one in 10 trust mobile phone companies, and barely one in 20 trust travel sites. Bottom of the list is gambling sites at just four per cent.

"Businesses need to tackle identity fraud with the same vigour as they do environmental issues," said Rob Laurence, managing director of fraud prevention at ID management firm GB which sponsored the survey.

"If they do not, it is highly likely that consumers will form pressure groups to get their voices heard.

"Demonstrating clearly to consumers the attention that is being paid to safeguarding them against identity fraud will go a long way in restoring faith. "

The survey makes worrying reading for e-commerce companies. Nearly half of the women surveyed said that they would give up online shopping and banking to cut the risk of identity fraud.

One ray of hope for the industry is that young people are much more trusting than their parents. Overall 21 per cent of 18-24 year-olds trust mobile phone companies with their details, compared with just five per cent of over 55 year-olds.