Data Privacy Concerns on Rise: Report

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

data privacyOver half of U.S. consumers—67 percent—are ready for stricter data privacy regulations such as GDPR, according to a new survey.

Almost three-fourths of consumers (73 percent) in a new survey by SAS said their concerns over personal data privacy were increasing, indicating an openness to the U.S. adopting rules similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), passed in May of this year.

Because of privacy concerns, more than a third of respondents (38 percent) reported cutting back their use of social media. Sixty-six percent said they had taken steps to secure their data, such as changing privacy settings (77 percent), changing or not accepting cookies (67 percent), declining terms of agreement (65 percent), deleting a mobile app (56 percent) or removing a social media account (36 percent).


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“The survey results clearly show that consumers value their data privacy and are greatly concerned about potential misuse,” said Todd Wright, global lead for GDPR solutions at SAS, in a statement. “Organizations that treat their customers’ data with care will be rewarded, and those that don’t risk the loss of reputation and customers.”

Of the respondents in favor of more data privacy regulation, 83 percent would welcome the right to tell an organization not to share or sell their personal information. Eighty percent of these consumers also want the right to know where and to whom their data is being sold. Seventy-three percent said they would like the right to ask an organization how their data is being used, while 64 percent would like the right to have their data deleted or erased.

Baby boomers age 55 and up showed the biggest concerns about sharing their personal data (78 percent), compared to Millennials (66 percent) or Gen Xers (72 percent).

What vertical markets do consumers trust with their data? Health care (47 percent) and banking (46 percent) came out on top for customer confidence in data privacy. Social media was the least trusted, with only 14 percent expressing confidence. Other low rated verticals included travel companies (16 percent), retail (18 percent), Internet/cable providers (20 percent), energy companies (21 percent) and government agencies (29 percent).

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