Nine in ten Britons are concerned about which organisations have their personal information and how it is used.

According to research commissioned by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT as part of its Savvy Citizens campaign, this suspicion is causing some people to fall behind in technology as doubts prevail.

Elizabeth Sparrow, president of BCS, claimed that while privacy and trust are key issues for Britons, education is also vital.

She said: “We live in an information society and those that don't know how to use and manage information properly risk being marginalised. While privacy and trust are key issues for Britons who care which organisations have their personal data and how they use it, education is also vital.

“Unless all members of society are made aware of how they can access and use information in their daily lives, and how to stay safe when they do this, then a significant proportion of Britons will continue to miss out on the full benefits of information and information technology.”

It also claimed that more needs to be done to ensure that some citizens are not left behind as the information society gathers pace. It found that 23 per cent still believe that information technology has not improved their lives and 42 per cent believe that websites like Facebook and Twitter are a waste of time.

Sparrow said: “What is clear from the research is that although society as a whole is getting savvier, a significant number of people are still wary of information technology. Almost one in three (31 per cent) claim that they do not trust the information that they read on the internet and the over 65s are particularly sceptical.

“It is vital therefore that citizens are informed about how information technology can improve their lives. Until this is achieved large sections of society are at risk of losing out.”