The Month: Consumers expect to be told of security breaches

May 10, 2007

UK consumers expect to be told of security breaches immediately, and are prepared to vote with their feet if not satisfied with security, according to new research. An Ipsos MORI poll found 82 per cent of people expect to be notified immediately in the event of a data breach, but more than half (53 per cent) would take their custom elsewhere in the event of such a data loss. Only five per cent of the UK public surveyed are not worried about potential data loss.

Secerno, which commissioned the MORI poll, thinks that only governmentaction will be sufficient to rebuild customer confidence, pointing tothe lack of incentive for companies to disclose breaches. The companycontrasts the existence of US laws to ensure data breaches are disclosedand the lack of these in the UK and EU. The forthcoming European DataProtection Act would fit the bill, but is not expected to be ratifieduntil 2012. Paul Davie, Secerno's chief executive (pictured) said: "It'sonly a matter of time before legislation is brought in - it's the onlysure route to make all businesses take notice."

The research comes after a series of large-scale breaches in the UK,with Nationwide and TK Maxx (and its US parent) being the worstoffenders, losing the details of 11 million and 45.6 million customersrespectively. Last month, building society Halifax lost details for13,000 mortgage customers after a briefcase including customer accountdetails was stolen from an employee's car.

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