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Consumers in Europe Say, ‘Trust No One’

Social networks see biggest drop in consumer trust

Consumers in Europe are wary of how organizations use their personal data, and recent research suggests that these concerns have gotten worse. In a January 2014 study conducted by Loudhouse Research for Orange, consumer trust in every sector monitored had fallen more than it had increased in the 12 months leading up to polling.

Social networks saw the biggest drop, with 46% of mobile phone owners in France, Poland, Spain and the UK saying they trusted them less. More than three in 10 said their trust in financial institutions had declined. Nearly one-fifth trusted mobile device manufacturers less, and 26% said the same for mobile phone operators, internet service providers and app developers.

Looking specifically at internet users in Great Britain, a study conducted in December 2013 by Ipsos MORI for TRUSTe found that the top reason for the increase in digital privacy concerns was “businesses sharing my personal information with other companies,” cited by 60%. Other concerns were related to companies tracking online behavior and location, as well as the privacy policies of social sites and search engines.

Organizations should pay attention to this lack of consumer trust, as it may affect business in the long term. TRUSTe found that nearly nine in 10 internet users in Great Britain avoided doing business with companies they didn’t believe protected their privacy online.

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