More than three-quarters of people in the UK demand to be informed if their personal data is lost, stolen or altered as the result of a corporate security breach, according to a new report by the European Commission (EC).

The e-communications and household survey found that 75 per cent of UK respondents want to be notified in all circumstances and a further nine per cent would like to be told if they are at risk of financial loss as a result of their information being lost or snatched.  Only 10 per cent said that they did not want to be informed about any loss of their personal data under any circumstances.

The study, which sought the views of 27,000 households across Europe, reveals that for Europe overall 64 per cent of respondents want to be informed of a security breach involving their data.  In every country, with the exception of Romania, the largest proportion of people polled would like to be notified in all circumstances.

In December the US discount retailer TJX, which owns TJ Maxx, and the UK outlet TK Maxx, revealed that criminal hackers had stolen more than 45 million credit card records in what security experts called the “largest data breach ever”.

In a separate study released last month, more than half (53 per cent) of UK shoppers said that they will shun a company’s services if they fail to immediately communicate any security breaches and 45 per cent do not believe that banks and online retailers are doing enough to protect the data of their customers.

Many experts argue that an EU Directive to enforce disclosure of data breaches, similar to the Security Breach Notification legislation in the US, should be implemented into European law.