Facebook recently changed their name to Meta, prompting some jokes about whether Facebook would similarly change their privacy and security policies.
The jokes are not only humorous, however, as consumers are increasingly conscious of security and privacy controls in the services they use. While certainly not the only factor, this increased awareness may be contributing to Facebook's mostly stagnant growth in usage since 2016.
In 2018, Pew Research reported that 79% of consumers were concerned with how their data was being used and 81% of consumers indicated that the potential risks of bad privacy practices outweighed the benefits of the relevant service/product.
In 2019, Edelman found that 67% of respondents agreed with the statement "a good reputation may get me to try a product, but unless I come to trust the company behind the product, I will soon stop buying it.”
Even more surprising, from a 2020 survey from McKinsey, more people (50% of respondents) said they would trust a company that was hacked but responded quickly, than people (42% of respondents) said they would trust a company that wasn't hacked to begin with. In a similar vein, respondents heavily favored good data practices -- with 52% saying they trust companies that do not collect data that isn't relevant to the product whereas only 20% said they trust companies that publicized their privacy policies and interest (see our "We Take Your Security Seriously" Myth article).
At the same time, respondents from the McKinsey survey also indicated they do not take proactive security measures on their own, with a majority of respondents never doing more than clearing their browser cookies once in a while.
Thus, we clearly have consumers who increasingly care about security but don't want to do much on their own about it. Talk about your business opportunities!
And, in fact, many companies are taking advantage of those opportunities. An entire market dedicated to security and privacy has emerged - a market that grew 46% in 2020 alone - fueled by this increased consumer security consciousness.
With more and more global and federal regulations focused on security, many companies are begrudgingly implementing missing security controls. Instead of thinking about the cost, though, companies should think about the gains in terms of security aware customers and consumers.
You are implementing security anyway; so make your security worth bragging about.
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