Breach, Data Security

One-third of breach victims walk away from company, survey

Nearly one-third of consumers notified of a security breach terminate their relationship with the company, according to a recently released survey by the Ponemon Institute.

The Consumer's Report Card on Data Breach Notification, sponsored by ID Experts, also revealed that 63 percent of survey respondents said notification letters they received offered no direction on the steps the consumer should take to protect their personal information.

The survey interviewed 1,795 people across the United States to find out if consumers notified about a data breach involving their personal information were satisfied with the company's response, according to Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute.

“People are annoyed over the loss or theft of their personal information,” Ponemon told on Wednesday. “We feel like we have no control over it.”

Part of that frustration lies within the timeliness of the notification. According to the survey, 83 percent of respondents said they received at least one notification of a data breach within the past two years, while 47 percent have received multiple notifications. Slightly more than half said that it took the company more than a month to get in touch with the consumers. For most consumers, that waiting period is too long, as 71 percent said the notification should come within a week after the breach.

Ponemon also said that there is a perception that when data breach notifications first occurred, it was a novelty and people paid attention, but now they have become commonplace enough that they're largely ignored.

“We found that most people do care about security breach notifications and are concerned,” said Ponemon. “And their concerns are identity theft, financial losses and the inconveniences that the breaches cause.”

He added that even though only two percent of respondents said their identity had been compromised in some way, the vast majority are concerned they could become victims some day. The fear of identity theft is shifting the behavior of consumers -- in how they use the internet and in how they respond to a company's post-breach actions.

ID Experts sponsored this research to better educate its corporate clients with how best to put together a data breach response plan, according to Doug Pollack, the company's chief marketing officer.

“We're hoping this research will help illuminate what the effects are of various approaches to data breaches to help our clients with customer retention issues,” Pollack told

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