A global survey of consumer trust in organisations to protect their data has found Aussie\u2019s faith in businesses to be the lowest in the world.\nThe CA Technologies commissioned report by analyst firmFrost Sullivan, questioned just under 1,000 consumers around their confidence in brands to appropriately collect, store and use their digital information.\n \nThe research found Australian consumers had the lowest overall level of \u2018digital trust\u2019, ranking below the US and China.\n \nAustralian business executives however, believed digital trust in their organisations to be far higher \u2013 the second highest disparity between leader perception and reality in the world (after Italy).\n \n\u201cSimply put, business leaders overestimate consumer trust in their organisations. Nowhere is this trend more noteworthy than in Australia,\u201d the report said, adding that organisations are \u201cdangerously out of touch\u201d with customers.\n \nSome 62 per cent of Australian consumers said they are \u201cdefinitely\u201d cautious about sharing personal data over the internet.\n \nMore than a third (38 per cent) of consumersclaimed to use the services of organisations that have publicly disclosed a data breach. Of those that had personally experienced a data breach, more than a third stopped using the services after a breach occurred.\n \nTrust levels were found to be higher in well-known brands, as well as brands which had websites that offered a security overview page to describe how it secures data. \u2018Digital trust\u2019 was also greater in companies that had been recommended by friends or colleagues.\n \nMore than two thirds of Australian consumers believe that companies, whose services they use over the internet, sell their personal data to other companies. This is despite the sale of consumer data by businesses in Australia being the lowest in the world \u2013 according to executives \u2013 at 33 per cent.\n \nDigital trust is more than just a nice-to-have, the report states. \n\u201cHigher digital trust is directly correlated with increased spending online, and a relatively small number of factors account for the public\u2019s perception of the strength of an organisation\u2019s data protection. But business leaders must be conscious not only of the positive effects of gaining digital trust, but also of the negative impact of losing it,\u201d it says. \nThe report adds that at present there is an \u201cextraordinary disconnect between the experiences of consumers and the perceptions of organisations\u201d around trust.\n\u201cWe are at a crossroads in the information age as more companies are being pulled into the spotlight for failing to protect the data they hold, so with this research, we sought to understand how consumers feel about putting data in organisations\u2019 hands and how those organisations view their duty of care to protect that data,\u201d said Jarad Carleton, industry principal, cybersecurity at Frost Sullivan.\n \n\u201cWhat the survey found is that there is certainly a price to pay \u2013 whether you\u2019re a consumer or you run a business that handles consumer data \u2013 when it comes to maintaining data privacy. Respect for consumer privacy must become an ethical pillar for any business that collects user data,\u201d he added.