Research shows half of UK adults want their digital history deleted

Nearly half of UK adults would like part of their digital history to be deleted forever, new research has found.

The research, conducted by Accenture, surveyed  2,000 UK adults on data privacy and found that 47% of them would like certain aspects of their online activity deleted. The five most popular things that people would like to be deleted from their digital history are:

  1. Photos of themselves posted by others
  2. Embarrassing social media posts
  3. Search engine history
  4. Shopping habits
  5. Credit history

GDPR is coming into force on 25 May. It will give everyone in the UK the right to access data that companies hold about them and ask for it to be deleted.

In this survey 70% of people welcomed the new regulations with worries about data security (68%) and a lack of control over hidden data (62%) being the two biggest concerns.

Nick Taylor, managing director and Accenture Security UK Lead, commented on the research: “In the past, consumers have voted with their wallets; the GDPR now means they will also vote with their data. This research shows that many people don’t fully believe companies will do right by their personal information and so businesses clearly have a job to do to build digital trust. Doing this successfully will bring rewards in collecting, segmenting and responding to customer needs.

“GDPR represents an opportunity for companies to prove themselves, deepen digital trust and do more, not less, with consumer data,” he added.

The research also revealed who UK adults do and do not trust with their personal data. People were least trusting of marketing companies (75%), social media networks (71%) and dating sites (70%), with over half (54%) saying they saw no benefit to letting companies hold their data.

People are most trusting of personal data with banks, insurance companies and the health services. They  felt particularly comfortable with data being collected from their personal email (72%), social media (67%), smartphone (63%) and voice assistants (68%).

For more information on GDPR, watch the video below.