LONDON: Britons in general distrust the ability of marketers to guarantee the security of their personal data. What's more, 75% feel likewise about the competence of central government to do the same, reports a study carried out by YouGov for data management ad security specialist GB Group.

Banks and building societies were accorded the highest level of trust, although little more than half the survey sample (52%) declared such confidence.

At the other end of the scale, gambling companies were the least trusted sector, with only 4% of respondents saying they had faith in the ability (or will) of such companies to guarantee the safekeeping of their data.

Mobile phone companies fared almost as badly with a meagre 9% declaring their confidence.

The study also infers that that consumers will desert those firms who fail to improve online fraud security. Nearly half the respondents (45%) said they are prepared to forego shopping online to avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud.

Observes Rob Laurence, managing director of GB Group's fraud reduction arm: "Identity fraud is a major issue for consumers and it's clear companies need to do much more to win their trust.

"The majority of adults in the UK have a bank or building society account, yet just half actually trust those organisations with their personal information.

"Well over 45 million people in the UK have a mobile phone; but less than one in ten of those polled trust their mobile company with their personal details."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff