Security Fears Affecting British Consumer Confidence

A new survey commissioned by Informatica and carried out by YouGov. has revealed a worryingly low level of confidence in the UK regarding the security of personal data online.

The results of ‘The State of the Data Nation’ come in the wake of a recent spate of high-profile security breaches. Of the 2070 adults questioned almost three-quarters (72%) expressed concerns over how their information is being used by brands/organizations, with 56% admitting to reclaiming access to their data and planning to be more restrictive with what information they share over the next three years.

Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising statistic was that more than a third (38%) stated there is nothing that can be done to convince them to share their personal information online at all.

Infosecurity spoke to Jonathan Armstrong, Partner at Cordery, about whether tighter regulations would force organizations to put greater emphasis on protecting sensitive data, thus regaining consumer faith. He explained that whilst there are laws in place “dealing with issues like trust and making sure a company lives up to its promises” such laws are not regularly enforced.

He said: “There's little point in making new laws if we're not using the laws which already exist. What does help is companies being better at security, gaining and maintaining trust and reacting quickly to bad news.”

He added that “not reacting properly to a breach is more harmful than the breach itself”.

However, despite the general negativity the survey brought to light, trust trade-offs (such as rewards and discounted Wi-Fi), faith in trusted parties (employers, financial services and government organizations) and the ability to control when personal information is automatically removed were all noted as incentives that would persuade some respondents to share more information.

Greg Hanson, vice-president of business operations EMEA, Informatica said: “It’s clear from this survey that there is a worrying disconnect between UK businesses and consumers when it comes to how their personal data is stored, shared and secured.”

“Brands and organizations need to address this as a matter of priority. That means putting strong data governance practices at the heart of their customers’ digital experience in order to win back their confidence. Data security is a crucial differentiator for organizations looking to redress the balance and offer maximum protection for personal information in the event of a breach.”

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