People are in the dark about internet data
A survey from The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has revealed that nine in 10 people have no idea what companies do with the personal information the firms hold about them.
The survey of 2,500 people also found over half of those interviewed did not trust the companies to handle their data responsibly.
Organisations had also misused their date, a whopping 51 per cent of people had said.
The CIM says personal data policies on websites should be ‘clearer and simpler’.
Over recent years, there have been a whole range of data leak scandals involving high-profile brands including LinkedIn, Yahoo and ‘dating’ site Ashley Maddison.
Last August, 32 million Ashley Maddison accounts were leaked, as 9.7 gigabytes of data was posted on the website designed for married people wishing to cheat on their partner.
In May, meanwhile, 164 million LinkedIn accounts were compromised, as a hacker tried to sell on more than 100 million logins.
The CIM questioned more than 2,500 consumers and marketing professionals, to help businesses looking for new ways to sell to us over the internet.
Some 92% of respondents did not fully comprehend how information that companies gleaned about them was being used, and they were highly sceptical about marketing practices.
Most said they did not trust the way organisations handled data, and most also complained that they had been contacted by someone misusing their personal information.
Most people do not like sharing data from their social media profiles, but that does not stop 44 per cent of businesses who freely scoop it up.
The danger is that most internet surfers agree to a website's terms without clueing themselves up on how any information they give away will be exploited.