What do you know about me? Consumers highlight data trust concerns

New data trust research from analysts Frost & Sullivan suggests there’s a significant gap between how organisations view their responsibilities on data stewardship and consumer expectations around how organisations protect their personal information.

Some 48% of consumers currently use, or have used in the past, services of organisations that were involved in a publicly disclosed data breach and, of those, 48% have stopped using the services of an organisation because of a breach.

That was a key finding from a new report into data trust between consumers and businesses, which also identified there is a significant gap between people’s expectations of how organisations manage their data security and how this stored information is actually used.

Within the research a Digital Trust Index showed consumers (61%) were some way behind decision makers and cybersecurity professionals (75%) in terms of how they rated organisations’ trustworthiness when it comes to data handling.

The global data trust online survey of 990 consumers, 336 security professionals and 324 business executives across ten countries was sponsored by CA Technologies and conducted by Frost & Sullivan in March and April 2018. It comes as electricals retailer Dixons Carphone in the UK is dealing with the aftermath of a data breach, which reportedly compromised personal data records of ten million customers.

In the study, 43% of business executives admit to selling consumer data that includes personally identifiable information, while only 15% of cybersecurity professionals surveyed knew their company was selling data containing these details.

In something of a contradiction, 90% of organisations involved in the study claimed to be very good at protecting consumer data, showing a high level of self-confidence despite almost half of them being involved in a publicly disclosed data breach in recent times.

Jarad Carleton, industry principal for cybersecurity at Frost & Sullivan, says: “We 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’ hands and how those organisations view their duty of care to protect that data.

“What the survey found is that there is certainly a price to pay – whether you’re a consumer or you run a business that handles consumer data – when it comes to maintaining data privacy. Respect for consumer privacy must become an ethical pillar for any business that collects user data.”

The survey’s respondents all work in senior business and IT positions at public and private enterprises across nine industry sectors.

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