New research finds only 9% of consumers have faith in brands to keep their data secure in the wake of a number of recent privacy and security scandals
New consumer research has found consumer trust in data security has hit a ten-year low, with over one in 10 suffering the effects of a data loss.
The research, carried out by Fujitsu
in conjunction with One Poll
, revealed only 9% of consumers had any faith in organisations to protect their data, with nearly a third (29%) recording a decline in trust over the last year.
And consumer trust has fallen in each and every sector, both public and private. Over two thirds (69%) said this decline in trust was solely down to a lack of trust in the organisations that hold their personal information. Social media companies, in particular, felt the wrath of the consumer, with 31% having ‘zero trust’ in the sector. Financial services fared only marginally better, with only just over a third (36%) trusting companies in the sector, a fall of 15% over the decade.
Data loss tolerance levels flatline
David Robinson, chief security officer for Fujitsu UK and Ireland, stated: “The results of our research showed consumer tolerance for data loss is at an all-time low. With consumers battling to understand the impact on their personal information if a company is hacked, there is no room for error anymore. To remain ahead of their competitors – and trusted in the eyes of the consumer – organisations need to ensure they are robust in their security.”
Yet, despite consumer angst around the data issue, there was also a lack of ownership by the general public towards it. Only 32% of consumers recognised their own involvement in keeping their data secure. Instead, consumers blame individuals, with over a third expecting to see repercussions for the member of staff deemed responsible, and almost one in 10 holding the chief executive personally responsible. A further 20% said they would inform the police of any data loss – seeing it a criminal offence.
Over a quarter of respondents said they believed that telecoms and utility companies use their data solely to extract more money from them. And only 15% of consumers see any value from their data being used, with 63% commenting that they do not want organisations to use their data to improve their experience. This was apparent in the financial services sector, where less than a quarter thought they were being served better thanks to the use of their data.
In fact, nearly a quarter said their personal information was represented incorrectly on communications. This was an issue faced similarly by retailers. There, over a third received incorrect communication, with 40% saying they still have an impersonal experience
– despite their data being collected.
Single, secure source of data
Robinson explained: “Inaccurate communications refer to misspelt names on letters, or indeed on offer emails. In order to ensure these inaccuracies are eliminated, businesses need to maintain accurate, up-to-date CRM [customer relationship management] systems, and ensure they are tracking the consumer across multiple channels.”
“The problem here is that perhaps consumers take this for granted – and don’t even realise that it is, in fact, a smart use of data that has enabled a business to provide a new level of service,” he continued. “For many retailers, the real tipping point comes when you are able to offer a consumer the same experience online, as you do instore. For many consumers issues seem to arise from a lack of communications between departments – resulting in disjointed conversations online and then in person.
“For consumers to truly feel the full benefit of data, retailers need to offer a consistently personalised experience – online, offline and everything in between.”