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Millennials have little confidence that government or businesses will protect their data

Another piece of research has been released showing that Millennials don’t trust the government or businesses when it comes to protecting their data online.

The survey, which was commissioned by Intercede and took in the opinions of 1000 US consumers and 1000 UK consumers aged from 16 to 35, found that a large number of respondents had “none” or just “a little” trust in terms of data protection when it came to particularly social media and online retail.

When asked about social media platforms, 61 per cent had no or just a little trust, and with online retailers, the figure was 38 per cent. When it came to national or local government, the number was 22 per cent, with financial institutions hitting 19 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, only 13 per cent of respondents had “complete” trust that their online data would be kept securely by their employer, and 17 per cent when it came to the government.

The figure went as low as 4 per cent when those surveyed were questioned about telecom operators both landline and mobile.

The Millennials were also asked how important it is that their data is only shared with individuals or firms that they have specifically authorised, and when it came to identifying, financial or medical data, unsurprisingly over 80 per cent said this was either “very important” or “vital”.

Location data rated almost as highly with the same response from 74 per cent of those questioned, and social media content also hit 58 per cent, with purchasing preferences just a tad behind on 57 per cent.

Also noteworthy was the fact that 23 per cent of respondents said they provide personal data to companies or governments not because they want to, but simply because they believe those entities will access their data whether they’ve given permission or not.

Lubna Dajani, a communications technology expert and futurist, commented: “Millennials are hungry for change. The generation that has grown up in a digital-first world and witnessed the rapid advancement of connected devices and information access is now facing a fallout. Major data breaches happen every week and Millennials, along with the rest of the general public, have found the trust they put in government institutions and businesses to protect their digital identities are being shaken.

“It’s no wonder they are beginning to rebel against continued personal data access – something needs to be done. This is by no means an apathetic generation, if business and government leaders don’t adopt better protocols now, Millennials will soon rise up and demand it.”

Darren Allan
Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.