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Americans trust banks over fintechs and Big Tech with personal data

Americans trust banks over fintechs and Big Tech with personal data

Americans trust traditional banks more than government agencies or fintechs - and far more than Big Tech - to safeguard their personal data, according to a BIS survey.

The survey of around 1300 US household heads asked respondents to give sectors a score of between one (no trust at all) and seven (complete trust) when it comes to safeguarding data such as bank transaction history, geolocation and social media data.

For Big Tech - Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple - the median respondent assigns a value of two, with three quarters of all respondents choosing a value in the range of one and three.

Government agencies and fintechs like PayPal, score a median level of four, although there is a greater dispersion than for big tech.

Banks, meanwhile, score a median value of five. Over three quarters of respondents give traditional FIs at least a four, with over 25% giving them six or higher.

There are differences across demographic groups: respondents from racial minorities have less trust in financial institutions, while younger people trust fintechs relatively more. Female, minority and younger respondents are more concerned about implications of data-sharing for their personal safety.

A quarter of respondents say Covid-19 made them less willing to share data. In this group, nearly half became less willing to share with big techs, with concerns centred on identity theft and abuse of data.

BIS says that the digital shift during the pandemic might "impose disproportionate harms on some groups, which may also lead to differences in digital adoption".

Concludes the paper: "Understanding and addressing these concerns through sensible regulation is essential if digital technologies are to be used in a safe and inclusive way for all in society."

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