Disconnect Between Consumers & Businesses as Companies Capitalize on Customer Data

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There is a growing disconnect between how companies capitalize on customer data and how consumers expect their data to be used, a new report from RSA Security has discovered.

The firm polled more than 6000 individuals across France, Germany, the United Kingdom and United States to explore the nuances of ethical data use and consumer perceptions of data privacy, compiling its findings into The RSA Data Privacy & Security Survey 2019.

Fewer than half (48%) of respondents believed there are ethical ways that companies can use their data, whilst 57% said they blame companies above anyone else, even a hacker, in the event of a data incident.

What’s more, whilst a focus on personalized consumer experiences is often considered a means to increase user activity and purchasing, the majority of those polled were against companies using their data to create a personalized experience if it compromised their privacy. As little as 17% of respondents felt tailored ads were ethical and just 24% thought personalization to create tailored newsfeeds was ethical. 

“With a growing number of high-profile data breaches, questions around the ethical use of data and privacy missteps, consumers increasingly want to know how their data is being collected, managed and shared,” said Nigel Ng, vice-president of international, RSA. “Now is the time for organizations to evaluate their growing digital risks, doubling down on customer privacy and security. Today’s leaders must be vigilant about transforming their cybersecurity postures to manage today’s digital risks in a way that ensures consumer trust and confidence in their business.”

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