Is protecting personal data up to the consumer or the business?

Business who suffer large scale public data breaches are likely to see their customer numbers dwindle. According to a new survey by Gemalto, some 70 per cent of consumers would stop doing business with a company if it experienced a data breach. In addition, of the 10,000 people surveyed, a further 69 per cent don’t believe that companies are taking the security of customer data seriously enough.

Despite consumers concerns over businesses protecting their data, the same survey found that over half (56 per cent) are failing to adequately protect themselves. While that same nume still uses the same password for multiple online accounts, two fifths (41 per cent) of consumers admit to not using the technology to secure social media accounts, leaving them vulnerable to data breaches. ?

This may be because the majority of consumers (62 per cent) believe the business holding their data is mostly responsible for its security. This is resulting in businesses being forced to take additional steps to protect consumers and enforce robust security measures, as well as educate them on the benefits of adopting these. 

"Consumers are evidently happy to relinquish the responsibility of protecting their data to a business, but are expecting it to be kept secure without any effort on their part," says Jason Hart, CTO, Identity and Data Protection at Gemalto. "In the face of upcoming data regulations such as GDPR, it’s now up to businesses to ensure they are forcing security protocols on their customers to keep data secure. It’s no longer enough to offer these solutions as an option. These protocols must be mandatory from the start – otherwise businesses will face not only financial consequences, but also potentially legal action from consumers."

Despite their behaviour, consumers’ security concerns are high, as two thirds (67 per cent) worry they will be victims of a data breach in the near future. Consequently, consumers now hold businesses accountable – if their data is stolen, the majority (93 per cent) of consumers would take or consider taking legal action against the compromised business.

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