A new survey of 2,000 people in the UK has revealed that consumers have “widespread worries” about the amount of personal information that broadband ISPs and mobile networks collect and hold about them. In fact 55% said they were “very or extremely worried” about the situation (50% for mobile networks).
Naturally most ISPs hold basic personal details, such as names, addresses and date of birth, although more can be gathered if requested by an appropriate security service. On top of that a new government bill (Communications Data Bill) is threatening to force ISPs into being asked to log and share a significantly larger chunk of our online activities.
Suffice to say that it’s no surprise to find that consumers are worried about how ISPs handle our personal data and the amount being collected. According to nFluence, which commissioned the study, the concern is also similarly strong for younger people aged 18-35 (48%) as it is for those aged 35+ (58%).
Henry Lawson, CEO of nFluence, said:
“The data not only shows the level of worry about personal information, but also highlights the power of asking consumers for information instead of tracking them without consent. These results are an encouraging sign as we continue to find new opportunities for our technology.”
However it should be noted that nFluence, which claims the study was “conducted by an independent polling organisation” and is “representative of the United Kingdom’s population“, are also creators of technology that gives consumers control over their personal data and thus have a vested interest. Similarly they do not identify which polling firm was used.