Brits increased concerned by privacy, claims research


Confined to our homes for the past year, we’ve become more reliant on the internet than ever before for everything from working to shopping. Yet despite, or perhaps because, of this, many of us are increasingly conscious about guarding our privacy online.

Interested in technology, OnBuy’s Home Automation Department analysed the latest findings from MindShare, to establish the most common actions Brits are taking to protect their personal data online. It found that clearing cache/search history (53%) is the principle precaution taken by Brits to safeguard their personal data when online.

In second position, 51% of Brits actively opt for their personal details not to be passed onto any third parties when online. And in third place, 48% always aim to give the bare minimum when prompted for their personal details online.

At the other end in sixth spot, 20% of Brits take the drastic action to cover or tape their webcam or phone camera when not in use.

Additionally, OnBuy’s Home Automation Department also sought to discover the personal data Brits would be most comfortable sharing with companies by analysing MindShare’s data. It found that Brits are most likely to provide their email address to companies, with 44% happy to do so.

In second place, 31% of Brits do not mind companies having data about their purchase history which enables brands to analyse customers purchasing/spending habits to provide them with a more tailored shopping experience.

Moreover, 24% are fine with companies knowing their location data in third place.

Contrastingly, Brits are least comfortable with companies knowing their feelings, with only 19% willing to provide companies insights into their ‘mood’. Recently, streaming giant Spotify announced plans to suggest songs to users based on their emotions.

Says Alex Ion from tech specialists    

“In an era where companies are fiercely competing to retain and gain customers, their reliance on big data to help them identify and create competitive advantages has significantly risen. Their desire to understand consumer behaviour and actions has led them to requesting more and more data from those who buy their goods or use their services.

“Although attaining some aspects of personal information from consumers is unavoidable for a satisfactory online experience, companies need to be wary when they go beyond asking for name, address, phone number and email address. A lot of people do not want to provide more personal information than that, even if it means sacrificing a more personalised experience. Companies should be respectful of that and appreciate not all individuals will have the same attitudes when it comes to sharing personal data”. 

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Actions Taken by Brits to Protect their Personal Data Online
Rank Action % of Brits that take Action
1. Clear cache or history 53%
2. Refuse for personal details to be passed onto third parties 51%
3. Only provide minimum personal details when asked to online 48%
4. Delete cookies on main internet browser 44%
5. Have a separate email address for marketing/spam 21%
6. Tape or cover webcam/smartphone camera 20%


The personal data Brits are most comfortable sharing with companies
Rank Personal Data % of Brits Comfortable Sharing
1. Email address 44%
2. Purchase history 31%
3. Location 24%
4. Own voice/sound 22%
5. Physical measures (e.g. health data) 21%
6. Mood 19%


Chris Price
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