New findings from a global research study by Veritas Technologies, reveal that consumers have little trust in organizations to safeguard their personal data. With more and more companies suffering data breaches and hackers seemingly one step ahead, almost one in five (19 percent) consumers in the UAE believe most businesses don’t know how to protect their personal data.
At the same time, the 2018 Veritas Global Data Privacy Consumer Study also shows that consumers intend to take bold steps in penalizing companies that don’t safeguard their data, while rewarding those that do.
With the introduction of stringent compliance regulations that give people more power over their data—like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—many consumers are closely scrutinizing businesses and holding them accountable for the protection of their personal data.
The study, commissioned by Veritas and conducted by 3GEM, surveyed 12,500 people across 14 countries, including the UAE. It indicates that consumers intend to reward organizations that properly protect their personal data, and punish those that don’t by shopping elsewhere or attacking brand reputations.
Nearly three quarters (71 percent) say they would stop buying from a business that fails to protect their data, while almost half (43 percent) say they would abandon their loyalty to a particular brand and consider turning to a competitor.
Almost eight in ten (79 percent) say they would tell their friends and family to boycott the organization, while around the same (78 percent) claim they would even go so far as to report the business to regulators. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of consumers say they would post negative comments about the business online.
However, the research shows that consumers also intend to reward companies that are properly protecting their data. Four in five (80 percent) respondents say they would spend more money with organizations they trust to look after their data, with over a quarter (30 percent) willing to spend up to 25 percent more with businesses that take data protection seriously.
“Trust in businesses has been eroded by breaches and high-profile cases where firms have shown a lack of understanding of how the consumer data they hold is used or shared,” said Tamzin Evershed, senior director and global privacy lead, Veritas. “As consumers demand more transparency and accountability from businesses, the ‘new norm’ will see consumers rewarding those organizations that have good data hygiene practices in place while punishing those that don’t. Businesses must be seen as trusted custodians of data if they want to reap the rewards associated with building consumer confidence.”