In light of the NSA scandal, Facebook's use of personal photos in advertising and widespread data-theft due to cyberattacks, it's no wonder consumers are concerned.
In a new research report released by carrier Orange, it seems that businesses need to get their act together to rebuild consumer trust -- or opportunities created by data collection could be lost, and financially this could hit home.
According to the firm's study, in which 2,023 online interviews among adults in France, Poland, Spain and the U.K. were conducted, consumers are increasingly unsure about how their data is used, and do not feel like they are in control.
The majority of respondents -- 78 percent -- said that it is hard to trust firms to handle their personal data properly, and the same figure feel that service providers hold too much information about consumer behaviour and preferences. Meanwhile, over 80 percent feel they have little power to control how companies use their personal data.
While the correct and consensual use of data can result in opportunities for both businesses and consumer, a lack of trust can not only impact on a company's reputation, but can also mean that projects using Big Data are doomed before they begin.
Within the survey, 29 percent of consumers trust companies less over the past year in general, and 55 percent have neither more nor less trust, illustrating that trust is in decline. When asked which organizations and industries they trusted more or less, 31 percent of respondents said that they trust banks less in comparison to how they felt a year ago, 26 percent trust mobile operators less, and the same figure trust Internet service providers less. In addition, 46 percent said they trust social networks less with their data in comparison to a year ago.