Machine translations by Deepl

Dutch people trust government less and less with personal data

On 24 May this year, it published KPMG its market research on how Dutch people think about their privacy. The survey reveals striking changes in this area.

By Wilmar Hendriks, board member Privacy First

Most strikingly, in five years, the percentage of Dutch people who trust the government when it comes to handling their personal data has dropped from 32 to 19%. This means that over 80% of all people do NOT really trust the government when it comes to handling their personal information. Keep in mind that about 5% of all jobs are government jobs. The survey also shows that the Dutch consider that reliability is most important precisely in government.

In Privacy First's view, this is an alarming signal, which the government needs to address quickly and seriously. 70% of Dutch people also expect personal data protection to improve, a goal that Privacy First has championed for over 15 years.

So there is a lot of work for government. From ministries to the implementation of local, municipal tasks. From awareness among its own staff to transparency about what is happening. Including timely involvement of the required expertise in every new project, process or 'pilot'. Because that is where this often goes wrong, consciously or unconsciously.

Only 14% of those surveyed indicate that they have not become more aware of the importance in the past five years, while 56% explicitly state that they have actually become more aware of their privacy. Less and less people still agree with the formerly common slogan "I have nothing to hide": 39% five years ago to almost half now (48%) no longer support this. So awareness about the value of privacy is clearly growing.

Commercial organisations are also viewed more critically: only a few there trust respect for their privacy. The distaste for data-driven cookies applies to two-thirds (62%) of the Dutch, with 37% annoyed by the effort they have to make to turn them off. The 'turn everything off' button (which fortunately KPMG itself does have) is still missing in most cases. Try turning off 'everything' yourself on such a commercial website (don't forget to click on 'partners'): our record was 215 clicks before we could view the website. And when you have finally turned everything off, you still don't know what you have said 'yes' to, which can still be shocking. So there is also a big challenge for commerce to remain credible.

Working on trust is challenging, but it also delivers a lot. Therefore: let all parties processing personal data learn from this. Do what is allowed, do it cleanly and be clear about it.