41% of residents trust banks the most with their personal information. 39% of respondents mentioned healthcare institutions. 36% mentioned law enforcement and municipal institutions – 33%, according to a study by KPMG on use of personal information.
13% of respondents mentioned trusting social media, retail trade companies (14%), the games industry (14%) and supermarkets (17%). Many people share information about their gender, education and ethnicity. Information regarding income, health and residence are provided much rarer. Residents also freely provide personal information if they believe it would provide them with benefits – cheaper goods or services.
«People in Latvia are beginning to pay more attention to their right in relation to personal information protection. More and more often, different violations are noted in this field. The latter is proven by data from inspections carried out by the Data State Inspectorate in response to complaints from residents. IN 2015, the number of violations uncovered by DSI had grown by 27% in comparison with 2014. This urges the question as to just how much do residents trust companies and state institutions, as well as how well their entrusted information is kept safe from unwanted third parties. General Personal Data Protection Regulation offers a degree of protection, as it demands not only effective data protection supervision, but also much stricter punishment for violation of data protection restrictions,» – as reported by KPMG senior lawyer Sanita Petersone.
She explains that people allow others to freely use their personal information in exchange for services and products to make their lives simpler, more comfortable and even cheaper. It is now possible for companies around the world to find out about their clients’ habits more easily than ever before. Whether it be favourite products and services, state of family, favourite restaurants and whatnot – companies know what their clients bought yesterday and they are likely to buy tomorrow or even next week. This is why the topic of ethics and legal matters regarding use of personal information has become such a hot topic lately.
«Companies should keep in mind that in the event of violations they could be applied with serious fines and lose their clients’ trust in a blink of an eye, resulting in serious financial loss or even bankruptcy,» – Petersone said.
Study shows that people in different countries have different approaches in regards to providing information to third parties. The general trend is that if a person feels restrictions, fears or discrimination, they will pay more attention to the protection of their personal information. One major factor to consider is the aim for which personal information is gathered. 49% of residents said they are satisfied if state institutions collect personal information to combat terrorism. 28% said they would be fine with providing their personal information if it is collected by internet stores.
The study also shows that general attitude towards sharing personal information also depends on a person’s income level. In general, half of respondents are prepared to provide some of their personal information in exchange for cheaper or free products. Nearly one-third of respondents use incognito mode when surfing the internet. One-fourth of respondents use cyphers to ensure better protection of personal information.