Online Companies And Real Estate Agents Are Among The Least Trusted With Australians' Personal Info

Celebrity chefs take a selfie at the 2013 Logies / Getty

Consumers are least likely to trust technology companies, market research organisations, real estate agents and retailers to handle their personal information, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has found.

Based on a survey of 1,000 Australians across the country, the OAIC today reported that one third of people were unhappy with how their personal information was handled in the past year.

About half (48%) of respondents said online services, including social media, presented the biggest privacy risks to consumers currently, while 23% were most concerned about identity fraud and theft, followed by data security at 16% and financial data at 11%.

Social media operators were the least trusted to handle personal information, while Australians tended to trust health service providers, financial institutions and government organisations with their data.

From the report:

The report, titled Community Attitudes to Privacy, is the latest in a series of surveys that commenced in 1990.

Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim noted that people had become more aware of privacy issues and more likely to take control of their data over time.

Sixty-three percent of 2013 respondents said they would avoid using a government or private sector service provider over privacy concerns, up from 40% when the survey was last conducted in 2007.

Meanwhile, a significant portion of people said they would give out their personal information in exchange for better service (34%), a discount (28%) or a prize (14%) – an important finding as organisations introduce more data mining and big data technologies.

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