Consumers don't trust orgs to protect data, survey says

A YouGov survey found that 72 percent of respondents were concerned with organizations' ability to protect data shared online.
A YouGov survey found that 72 percent of respondents were concerned with organizations' ability to protect data shared online.

Consumers don't have faith in organizations to keep their data safe, according to a survey conducted by YouGov.

Seventy-two percent of the respondents said they were fairly concerned or very concerned with the level of protection organizations and brands provide for the data that they share online. And 73 percent said they were very concerned or fairly concerned with how brands and organizations use their personal information.

As a result, 53 percent of the respondents reported they would plan to share less data over the next three years.

Greg Hanson, vice president business operations EMEA at Informatica, which sponsored the survey, told SCMagazine.com via email correspondence “the findings highlight the way in which organisations' ability to manage customer data directly impacts the level of trust amongst their customers.”

The findings indicated that the way organizations respond to data breaches also affect consumer confidence levels.

A majority of respondents - 62 percent - reported that they would lose trust in a company that failed to communicate with them following a breach. And 56 percent said their trust would flag if an organization experienced more than one breach during a year.

But the survey found that transparencyprivacy policies and customer service could inspire greater confidence with 52 percent saying transparency as to how customer data is used would bolster their trust while 43 percent said having a privacy policy in place would help. Quick response to security issues pays off with 38 percent of respondents claiming it would make a difference. However, 25 percent were immovable -- saying that organizations could do nothing to convince them their data was being protected.

More than a third of customers, 38 percent, can't be incentivized to share personal information with an organization online, though 28 percent said they would share personal information with a brand they trusted. Apparently, for some of those surveyed, information-sharing concerns could be put aside for a good deal. Nearly a quarter, or 22 percent, would let loose personal information online if an organization offered discounts for a service. 

The survey findings show that customer trust must be earned and that brands need to give them a reason to trust them if they want things to change, Informatica's Hanson said..

He also predicted that privacy rankings will be one of the ways that businesses compete in the near future.

“Privacy rankings are going to open up a new way for brands and organisations to win over consumer trust,” Hanson said. “In the same way that online purchasing decisions on the likes of Amazon are currently influenced by product reviews and vendor ratings, we are going to see a move to this kind of buying experience for consumers across a wide range of business products and services,” he said.

Hanson added that organizations should adopt data-centric security programs and apply the same rigor and security to sensitive data regardless of where it resides. 

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