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Monday, 03 September 2018 10:22

Trust in companies to manage collected data low: survey

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Trust in companies to manage collected data low: survey Courtesy CA

Australians have the lowest level of trust in the way businesses collect, store and use the digital information of their customers, with a score of 54 out of 100, a survey of 10 countries issued by CA Technologies says.

Americans had slightly more trust, with a score of 61, while China had a score of 67.

The survey was conducted by analyst firm Frost & Sullivan for CA and covered 10 countries - the US, the UK, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, India, Japan and China. It quizzed 900 consumers, 336 security professionals and 324 business executives in March and April this year.

iTWire will focus on the findings relevant to Australia; the full report can be downloaded free here after registration.

A statement from CA said the survey looked at how consumers regard organisations that collect digital data and also how business leaders and cyber security professionals within companies viewed "their responsibilities of data stewardship, the licensing of consumer data to third parties and the technologies they are implementing to protect data and customer privacy".

It found that in Australia, IT security professionals (73%) and business executives (50%) admitted using consumer data, including personally identifiable information. But the sale of consumer data by business executives was the lowest among the 10 countries surveyed, at 33%.

Other key findings:

  • Sixty-two percent of Australian consumers said they were “definitely” cautious about sharing personal data online.
  • Fifty-two percent of consumers felt that well-known brands would offer good protection for their data. They also had more trust in brands whose website provided a security overview page to describe how it secures data (42%), and if the company was recommended by known people (38%).
  • Sixty-four percent of consumers said they continued using the online services of an organisation(s) after a data breach.
  • Sixty-seven percent of consumers believed that companies, whose services they used over the Internet, would sell their personal data to other companies.
  • Sixty-six percent of consumers believed that protecting their personal data was important to the organisations whose services they used online. However, a perception gap existed, with 95% of businesses believing that protecting personal data that had been shared with them over the Internet was important to consumers.

 “This report comes at a critical time, as consumers are increasingly transacting online — whether for work, leisure or play — providing organisations with access to vast amounts of data, from consumer profiles and personal information to user behaviour and habits," said James Ross, director of Security, CA Technologies Australia & New Zealand.

"With that increasing store of data also comes greater responsibility to protect it against abuse from external and internal sources.”

Jarad Carleton, industry principal, cyber security, Frost & Sullivan, said, “We are at a crossroads in the information age as more companies are being pulled into the spotlight for failing to protect the data they hold, so with this research, we sought to understand how consumers feel about putting data in organisations’ hands and how those organisations view their duty of care to protect that data.

“What the survey found is that there is certainly a price to pay — whether you’re a consumer or you run a business that handles consumer data — when it comes to maintaining data privacy. Respect for consumer privacy must become an ethical pillar for any business that collects user data.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.