Data revolution backlash: Consumers prepared to take decisive action if organizations mishandle data

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US consumers believe technological advancements pose a risk to their data privacy; believe it is the responsibility of organisations to make the purpose of data use clear and say organisations that fail to protect people’s data should face immediate penalties from regulators, according to a survey conducted by Edelman Intelligence.

data revolution backlash

The research found that the majority of US consumers not only have a punitive mindset when it comes to data breaches but are also prepared to take decisive action where organisations mishandle data, stating that they would stop using a brand if they did not protect their data.

Results around the world

In the US, the research shows a contradiction between the fears of consumers and the confidence of business. More pronounced than British and French consumers, 70% of US consumers are concerned about the ways companies are using their data. This contrasts starkly with the views of US business, which are more confident than their counterparts in the UK and France.

While 68% of French upper level management feel the risks associated with using company data outweigh the potential benefits, only 38% of their US equivalents agree. Similarly, 79% of French businesses say preventing data breaches is a top priority for the next year, whereas only 66% of US businesses agree.

“While we see universal privacy concerns across the UK, US and France, there are clear points of difference. US consumers are distinctly more concerned about how companies use their data. However, US businesses are more comfortable with privacy risk and it is less of a priority compared with French and British businesses. Apple may have made privacy a key selling point of its products but many US organisations are not as progressed. Given public sentiment and, of course, the high profile Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is no surprise that regulatory moves are being made in the US,” said Jason du Preez, CEO of Privitar.

Global consumers

  • 90% believe technological advancements pose a risk to their data privacy (US: 92% / France: 90% / UK: 89%)
  • 77% believe it is the responsibility of organisations to make the purpose of data use clear (UK: 81% / US: 76% / France: 73%)
  • 23% believe it is their own responsibility to manage their data privacy (UK: 19% / US: 24% / France: 27%)
  • 68% would stop using a brand if they did not protect their data (UK: 73% / US: 68% / France: 65%)
  • 79% say organisations that fail to protect people’s data should face immediate penalties from regulators (UK: 83% / US: 78% / France: 76%).

data revolution backlash

Global businesses

  • 74% say preventing data breaches is a top priority for the business in the next year (France: 79% / UK: 75% / US: 66%)
  • 74% recognise risking the loss of customer trust and reputation damage if they fail to protect their customer’s data (France: 78% / UK: 76% / US: 69%)
  • 72% say they need more support in protecting their customers’ data (France 77% / UK: 72% / US: 67%)
  • 57% of senior executives say that risks associated with using company data are not worth the potential benefits to the organisation (France: 64% / UK: 57% / US: 53%)
  • 46% say organisations that fail to protect people’s data should face immediate penalties from regulators (US: 50% / UK: 45% / France: 42%).