Business Technology

Saturday 15 June 2019

Two thirds of people fear their data is being sold without consent

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Over two thirds of adults in Ireland are concerned their personal data is being sold to third parties without their knowledge or consent, according to a study.

And a similar number agree they are concerned their right to privacy is being compromised by the collection and use of their personal data by companies.

This is according to research commissioned by IT Tralee and fintech group Fexco.

The collection of data is also the impacting purchasing decisions of consumers it appears, with eight in ten respondents claiming they would consider not buying a product or service if the data ask is too detailed or invasive.

This reluctance to engage with a product or service increases with age, and peaks with those aged 55-64 (92pc). At the other end of the scale, those aged 18-24 (67pc) are less likely to claim it would influence their behaviour.

"It is clear from the research that companies need to become more adept and efficient in how they collect and store data,  ensuring they gather only what is required to maintain the customer relationship and that it is securely stored," Ruth McCarthy, CEO of Fexco corporate payments, said.

"It is worth consumers bearing in mind that when a service is offered for free in exchange for provision of personal data, then clearly someone in the value chain is finding a way of monetising that data."

Meanwhile, when asked how their data is held after it is collected, one in five were aware of what happened to their personal data when it is provided to a company, while just 22pc of respondents could confirm how long their data could be legally stored for.

The research also found that one in two people agree the government holds too much of their personal data, while almost one fifth said the same for their employer.

This comes ahead of the IT Tralee and Fexco 2019 Cantillon Conference, which will be held in Tralee in March.

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