Public confidence in how businesses protect their data has fallen, according to UK data protection authority the Information Commissioner's Office.
Data breaches such as the Sony PlayStation Network and Play.com compromises have shaken public confidence in online data security, an Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) spokesman told ZDNet UK on Friday.
"There's concern about the security of information provided to online business," said the spokesman.
Just over a quarter of the UK population believe online businesses can keep their data safe, down from 37 percent in 2010, according to ICO figures published on Friday. Only 34 percent of the UK population trusts organisations and UK laws to protect personal data sufficiently, down from 46 percent in 2010.
In addition, fewer than half of the people in the UK believe businesses use their data fairly once it has been collected, the UK data protection regulator said on Friday.
"People don't believe organisations are being upfront with them, and using their data in the way they've been told," said the spokesman.
In 2010, 56 percent of people believed that businesses used their data in a "fair and proper way". That figure has fallen to 49 percent.
"The fact is that security breaches in the private sector are on the rise, and public confidence in good information handling is declining," information commissioner Christopher Graham said in an ICO statement.
Only 33 percent of organisations were aware that by law information should be processed for limited purposes, according to the ICO figures. Information security compliance awareness has increased, but still only 72 percent of organisations know that personal information should be kept secure under UK law.