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  • Writer's pictureCraft Compliance

Data privacy: how important is it really to your consumers?

Do your consumers really care about data privacy?

The security industry is constantly talking about privacy these days. In fact, we recently shared a video on LinkedIn of our own privacy expert, Alyssa Ahmann, discussing privacy regulations and how it impacts businesses.

But do consumers themselves truly care?

After all, Jimmy Kimmel made a famous video where his team simply asked for people's passwords… and got them!

But that was years ago. And the trend is definitely swinging in the other direction now.

Part of this change is likely the result of a multitude of privacy breaches in the news, such as hackers breaking into Internet-connected cameras, undisclosed tracking capabilities, or data sharing without user awareness.

All of this bad privacy news has contributed to a general negative feeling about privacy. In fact, according to a 2018 report on privacy from Kaspersky, 56% of respondents believe that true privacy online is impossible. That negative feeling makes sense when you consider that 86% of consumers in 2020 were the victims of online fraud, identity theft, or a data breach.

Despite thinking that privacy online is impossible, though, 68% of respondents still worried about the data that is being collected about them by mobile and online applications and 80% of Americans say they value data privacy more than keeping social media free (naturally, though, a minority of respondents in the same study said they would actually pay for social media usage).

Similarly, a 2020 survey from McKinsey showed that 48% of respondents trust companies more when those companies don't ask for too much personal data and 43% indicated higher trust for companies that don't collect passive data, such as user clicks or browser history.

Moreover, there is a tremendous amount of distrust and confusion with users when it comes to privacy policies and practices. 97% of Americans admitted to accepting privacy policies on a regular basis, but only 22% said they actually read it. At the same time, a majority of respondents (57%) said they don't believe the company will follow the privacy policy anyway and 79% of respondents don't believe the company will admit a mistake or take responsibility in the event of a data compromise or breach of the policy.

And unfortunately, many of these respondents are right. Many companies do, and will continue to, ask for too much personal information and handle it carelessly.

However, that leaves a growing consumer market that is looking for the companies that will take privacy seriously. Companies that will remove consumer doubt, instead of increasing it. Companies that value privacy, and truly practice it.

Because, as it turns out, consumers do care.

If you’re looking for support with your organization’s data privacy, compliance or security efforts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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