Global data: Which sectors do consumers trust most with their personal data?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
April 23, 2021, 5:04 PM UTC

No sector is immune to data breaches and brands across the spectrum have experienced high-profile incidents over the last two decades. 

International YouGov data collected in 17 key global markets indicates that just over half (55%) of consumers worldwide trust banks and financial institutions with their personal data, making it the most trustworthy of all the major sectors about which we asked. While this is a positive number, overall these figures indicate significant room for improvement in the banking – and indeed all – sectors. 

A certain level of trust is paramount for banks to operate and grow, but all major consumer sectors have work to do to strengthen trust, whether it be through increased transparency regarding how data is used, tips and tools on how to keep personal data safe, or traditional marketing to boost overall brand confidence.  

As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated health and financial hardships, many global consumersroughly two in five (44%) also put a lot of trust in hospitals, albeit less so than financial institutions.  

Government comes in third place overall by a considerable margin, with 37% indicating trust in their institutions to handle their personal data.  

Overall, trust in organizations to handle personal data is low among the rest of the options YouGov presented to panelists, including airlines (15%) and hotels (13%).  

Pharmaceutical companies (15%), online retailers (14%), tech companies (9%), and social media companies (8%) also appear low on the list. Data around these four sectors is particularly noteworthy, since each has been integral to our lives during the pandemic, either by our need to get a vaccine or live out our social and consumer lives online under social restrictions. 

Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 505 to 2,251 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in February 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.

Receive monthly topical insights about the tech industry, straight to your inbox. Sign up today. Discover more tech content here 

Start building a survey now with YouGov Direct