Global - Social media companies least trusted to handle personal data responsibly
May 12th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Global - Social media companies least trusted to handle personal data responsibly

A recent YouGov survey conducted across 18 international markets reveals how far consumers trust a variety of sectors with their personal data – and how trust levels have changed over the last year. 

A moderate rise in trust has been observed in sectors such as hotels, tech companies, online retailers, automotive companies, and sports organizations. This indicates a shift in consumer sentiment, with some consumers possibly transitioning from a neutral stance to forming an opinion.

Trust levels are the highest in the banking sector. Nearly three-fifths of consumers trust banks with their personal data in 2023, a two-point decrease from 2022 (63% in 2022 vs 61% in 2023). A similar trend was seen among insurance and financial services providers (49% in 2022 vs 47% in 2023).

There is moderate growth in consumer trust in hotels (50% in 2022 vs 52% in 2023), tech companies (40% in 2022 vs 41% in 2023), online retailers (43% in 2022 vs 44% in 2023), automotive companies (39% in 2022 to 41% in 2023), and sports organizations (36% in 2022 to 39% in 2023). However, considerable skepticism is seen in all these types of organizations, indicating divides in consumer opinion.

Video game platforms have seen trust levels rise in 2023 (28% in 2022 vs 31% in 2023), but the majority (51%) are still on the opposite end of the spectrum. Social media companies face high levels of distrust with personal data, with two-thirds of consumers expressing this sentiment (66% in 2022 and 67% in 2023), making this the least trusted sector

Our data shows that trust and distrust levels when it comes to personal data vary by market. In Britain, trust in banks (63% in 2022 to 58% in 2023) and insurance or financial service providers has fallen (45% in 2022 vs 42% in 2023). However, other types of organizations have seen a marginal rise - except for social media companies, where a staggering four-fifths of consumers express distrust (80% in 2022 vs 82% in 2023).

In the US, the distrust level in banks rose by six points (35% in 2022 vs 41% in 2023). This could be due to the recent collapse of three mid-size banks. There was a notable increase in consumer trust with personal data among online retailers (34% in 2022 vs 39% in 2023), sports organizations (18% in 2022 vs 24% in 2023), and video game platforms (20% in 2022 vs 25% in 2023).

In India, the situation is markedly different, with eight in 10 consumers (81%) trusting banks in 2023, a marginal drop of two points compared to 2022 (83%). In contrast to other markets, social media companies have seen an increase in trust (45% in 2022 to 48% in 2023). Trust levels remain high in most organization types such as tech, auto, and sports and video game platforms, but a notable drop of seven points is seen among insurance and financial service providers (67% in 2022 vs 60% in 2023).

In the UAE, consumers' trust with their personal data has risen considerably among hotels and airlines (68% in 2022 vs 73% in 2023), sports organizations (58% in 2022 vs 65% in 2023), and video game platforms (44% in 2022 vs 50% in 2023).

In Denmark consumer trust towards personal data has fallen across all sectors. A significant drop is among insurance companies from two-thirds to half (61% in 2022 vs 53% in 2023). Trust has also fallen considerably among banks (65% in 2022 vs 57% in 2023), social media companies (19% in 2022 vs 14% in 2023), hotels and airlines (56% in 2022 vs 52% in 2023), and auto companies (40% in 2022 vs 35% in 2023).

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Methodology - YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 512 and 2,007 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2023. 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. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.