Brits don't trust firms to look after confidential data - poll

Brits don't trust firms to look after confidential data - poll

UK consumers have little faith in the ability of banks and retailers to look after confidential information, with 90% saying they don't think the personal data held by companies is completely secure.

A poll of 1000 UK adults commissioned by insurer RSA also found that 46% believe banks and retailers are not doing enough to protect personal data.

In addition, people are becoming increasingly worried about their data, with 56% of respondents more concerned now about identity fraud and the security of their personal information than they were six months ago.

The vast majority of people (90%) do not approve of employees carrying customer's personal information outside the office. This appears to be merited, with RSA saying over 868,000 people in the UK have accidentally left work documents or devices such as a laptop or Blackberry in a public place or on public transport.

The actions of staff are considered the greatest threat to the safety of personal data. The chief concern of respondents is carelessness when disposing of confidential information, followed by a fear of fraud being committed by employees and weak management leading to insufficient checks on the actions of workers.

Desmond Cross, director of retail, RSA, says: "Companies must act immediately to address the concerns of their customers by managing risk in all areas of their business.

"Even seemingly 'small' breaches in customer confidentiality can lead to widespread concern - and can have a massive impact on the company's reputation, and on the reputation of their industry as a whole."

The past year has seen a spate of high profile cases in the UK where confidential personal information has gone missing. In October HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) lost computer discs containing the confidential information - including bank account details - of all 25 million child benefit recipients in the UK in transit.

Also last year, a CD containing confidential data for around 15,000 Standard Life customers went missing whilst being transported. This followed a move by the Bank of Scotland to notify more than 60,000 mortgage customers that a disc containing their personal information had been lost in the postal system.

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