LONDON: Just 2% of UK consumers say they trust marketing and advertising companies with their personal information, according to a recent survey which also suggests people seem resigned to the issue of data privacy being out of their control.

Based on responses from 2,110 UK adults at the end of January 2018, research firm YouGov also found that just 11% trust social media organisations when it comes to use of their data, while a similarly low proportion (10%) trust retailers and brands.

A fifth (20%) of Brits don’t trust any company or organisation at all, although government institutions (60%), the NHS and private healthcare providers (60%) and financial services companies (59%) retain the trust of the British public.

YouGov also revealed that more than half (55%) of UK adults think that people are so used to giving away their personal data and information that reversing that trend would be almost impossible.

Some 58% believe that they have no choice but to hand over personal data in return for products and services, yet nearly everyone (96%) doesn’t read all website terms and conditions or cookie consents.

Elsewhere, the survey found that eight in ten (80%) try to limit the amount of personal information they either put online or share with companies, while 85% say they would boycott a company that repeatedly showed disregard for protecting consumer data.

What’s more, when asked if they would be happy to exchange personal information in return for more personalised content or advertising, only 1% would be very willing and 79% say they would not be willing at all.

The survey, which was conducted exactly four months before the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, also found that almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents have not heard of it.

By contrast, almost eight in ten (79%) have seen something about the “sugar tax”, while 57% have heard about changes to the state pension age.

“Yet this lack of knowledge does not mean that consumers are not concerned about their privacy. Instead, it seems they are resigned to the issue being out of their control,” said Ben Glanville, YouGov’s Head of Data Services UK.

For more about the GDPR and its implications for brands and marketers, read WARC’s exclusive report: The World Media Group guide to GDPR – in plain English.

Sourced from YouGov; additional content by WARC staff