One in four polled are willing to let utility share their data with third parties

More than a quarter of UK consumers would be happy for service providers to share their personal data with charities,other suppliers and other third parties, according to research. by outsourced customer contact firm Echo Managed Services.

In a poll of1,000 UK residents on their knowledge and attitudes to debt Echo found that 27% of respondents would be happy for their personal information to be shared if it was used to help the utility better manage its bills or provide more tailored support were they to fall behind on payments. But 20% of those surveyed wouldn’t agree to data sharing, even if it could provide more proactive and personalised debt support. And 29% said they would worry about the security of shared data.

Monica Mackintosh, customer services director at Echo Managed Services, (pictured) said: “It is likely that data sharing holds part of the solution to help better manage bill payment and more tailored support for customers.” She continued: “Despite this, it’s important not to assume that customers would automatically be happy to share their data. Trust plays an important role here, and recent high profile data leaks are likely to have undermined consumer confidence in the ways their personal data is handed. Being open and transparent and educating consumers around data sharing and data usage may go some way in alleviating these concerns.”