Just a third of adults in the UK trust businesses to use their personal data as directed by them.

According to a survey of 2,078 adults by Informatica, only 35 per cent of UK adults trust businesses to use their personal data as directed by them, as 30 per cent say they have had their data exploited by companies in the past.

Chris Boorman, chief marketing officer at Informatica, told SC Magazine that this is an issue of trust, as people do not know what is happening to their data when they go to a site, or know what the company knows about them.

“They will want to know if it is used elsewhere. There is a good sense of uncertainty about information on the internet and consumers have to understand what is happening with their data,” he said.

“Thirty per cent feel exploited, but trust is a two-way street – it is down to the person giving up the data and the person picking it up to be trustworthy and the sensitive nature of trust means we have a long way to go and we need to be aware of that.”

The research also found that the mistrust of how companies use personal data is so rife that 46 per cent believe that sharing their personal data gives businesses the opportunity to invade their privacy.

Boorman said that businesses have the opportunity to be secure with information and if they do not get it right, how is it going to impact the user?

He said: “This is an issue that they need to deal with, as it is nothing like we have had to deal with before, so this is profoundly more dynamic and it is all about more and more information and who knows what about you.

“I believe that if you give up information to organisations, you trust that they will look after it and secure the information so that you are not liable to be hacked or share it with other organisations.”

The research also found that 56 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds, and 48 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds agreed that if businesses provided clearer explanations of why they wanted their personal data, and what it will be used for, they would be more inclined to give it to them.