UK internet users are uncertain if social media can be trusted to handle their personal data, according to the latest survey from GlobalWebIndex. An answer of three (indicating uncertainty) was most popular, with an average of 36.2% across all age groups.

Those aged 16-24 and 45-54 reported the most uncertainty, at 41.7% and 41.4% respectively. However, the 55-64 group indicated far more certainty, with one in three (33.0%) reporting strong distrust (an answer of five) – the most common answer for the age group.

Consumer distrust of social media also increases with age. For 16-24 year olds, just over one-quarter (27.4%) said they do not trust social media to handle their personal data (an answer of four or five). This rises to over one-half (53.3%) among those aged 55-64.

Trust in social media to handle personal data follows a less linear path. While those aged 16-24 reported the highest level of strong trust (an answer of one) at 11.5%, those aged 25-34 registered the highest level of general trust (an answer of one or two) at 33.9%.

When asked the same question, American internet users displayed far higher levels of trust. On average, 37.1% of Americans provided an answer of one or two, 10.6 percentage points higher than in the UK. Despite consumer concerns, the UK consumer data market is forecast to grow 62.1% between 2017 and 2019, exceeding $2 billion next year.