Consumers aren’t convinced brands are protecting their information

by | Mar 27, 2018 | Public Relations

Facebook’s data-protection crisis has opened our eyes to the fact that these social media giants—and, most likely, other big brands that heavily rely on data—aren’t prioritizing the privacy of consumer data. A rash of data breaches in recent years, such as the Equifax incident, seems to suggest the same thing—and consumer suspicions are escalating.

New research from the Identity Theft Resource Center reveals there were over 1,500 data breaches in 2017, up 45 percent from 2016. These breaches led to nearly 180 million records being exposed—many of which contained highly sensitive and personal consumer information.

With the frequency and scope of data breaches increasing at an alarming rate, fraud protection firm Next Caller released its 2018 Trust in the Age of the Data Breach report, examining the impact fraud is having on consumers and their overall trust of businesses and institutions.

“While it may not be possible to prevent 100 percent of data breaches from occurring, our report found that the handling of a breach is equally as important as having the proper technology and protocols in place to prevent them” said Next Caller CEO Ian Roncoroni, in a news release.

Consumers aren’t convinced brands are protecting their information

“Organizations not only have the responsibility to safeguard their customers’ personal information, but in this fraud-filled landscape, it’s more important than ever that they are forthcoming and transparent in their communication around these events,” Roncoroni added.

With breaches becoming more and more commonplace, and the fact that companies like Equifax have been called into question for their handling of such incidents, Next Caller found an increase in anxiety among consumers about their personal information being exposed, as well as a decrease in trust of the organizations who are supposed to be safeguarding it.

Consumers aren’t convinced brands are protecting their information

Key findings from the report include:

  • 80 percent of consumers say the way the affected organizations responded to the breaches in 2017 makes them less trustworthy.
  • 61 percent of respondents report that they would not drop a business just because it was breached, and would make the decision based on how the company handled the situation.
  • Millennials seem to be the most forgiving, with 69 percent saying a company’s reaction to the breach impacts their decision more than whether the breach happened at all.
  • The overwhelming majority of consumers (59 percent) say they are most concerned with breaches in the Banking & Finance industries.
  • 52 percent of consumers anticipate that stronger security defenses will impact their customer experience negatively.

Download the complete report here.

Consumers aren’t convinced brands are protecting their information

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter