Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fraudulent information

A survey of consumers about identity theft appears to have been taken out of context in some quarters.

The study by GB Group found that the travel sector languished in the lower reaches of the trust table when it comes to protecting the financial details of individuals.

Apparently only 6% of those survey trusted a travel company to "keep client details safe from the potential risk of ID fraud".

This compares very unfavourably against the likes of banks (52%). Other untrustworthy sectors included gambling companies (4%) and mobile phone operators (9%).

This has inevitably triggered some hand-wringing about how online data is handled. We are not in the business of defending the sector we write about, but to lump web usage as the trigger for such concerns misses the bigger picture.

Indeed, a call to GB revealed that the survey was conducted to learn what people feel about how well companies protect their personal information per se, not just those details submitted online.

Nevertheless, it seems travel companies need to do a lot more to convince those questioned in this particular survey about how stringent they are with ensuring no-one gets their hands on valuable information.

However, recalling our survey last year of 3,500 members of the public, as part of the Travolution Generations project, and a vastly different picture emerges - especially when it comes to the online element.

To the statement "I worry about the safety of my bank details when booking online", we got this response.

  • I don't know - 4%
  • Strongly agree - 15%
  • Slightly agree - 27%
  • Slightly disagree - 27%
  • Strongly disagree - 27%
So that's 54% disagreeing, then.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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