A recent survey of tech experts reveals that almost nine in ten Britons, or 88%, are concerned about how companies manage their personal data, MarketingTech reports. However, nine in ten, or 90%, admit they don’t fully understand what companies are actually doing with their data. This lack of clarity creates potential risks for consumers as they are unaware of the full scope of activities related to their personal data.

In the UK, almost nine out of ten (87%) consumers shop online. However, nine out of ten (89%) internet users fail to read the privacy policies of any online services or apps they use.

Just over a third (35%) admit to ‘sometimes’ reading privacy policies and just under a third (32%) say they only read them on rare occasions. More than one in six Britons (17%) admit to never reading the privacy policies of the online services or apps they use.

Do we truly grasp how our data is gathered and utilized?
Many remain unaware of the terms and conditions, leaving them in the dark about companies collecting their data. About 31% are oblivious to websites gathering information on their online behavior, even without registration.

Companies compile diverse personal data, encompassing browsing and purchase history, alongside demographics like age, gender, location, income, education, and marital status. This amalgamation enables them to predict consumer preferences and willingness to pay, even without direct engagement.

Moreover, 20% of Brits are unaware that social media platforms use their data for targeted ads, a crucial consideration for Black Friday shoppers. Despite concerns, 29% find targeted ads helpful, with 48% of those aged 18-34 and 32% of those aged 35-54 viewing them as beneficial, reflecting the perceived advantages among active social media users.

Furthermore, 82% express worry about social media platforms using smartphone data collected through microphones for ad targeting. However, it’s important to note that this can only occur if users have granted permission for microphone access.

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