Consumer data security: Who is responsible?

Last updated: 18 January 2017

Consumers say the responsibility for data security is on the business operating the service.

Nowadays, we seem to be reading Consumer Data Security - Consumers Hold Businesses Responsibleabout a new data breach exposing thousands of consumers’ data on a daily basis. Most of us are aware of the risks to our personal data, but are willing to ignore them or expect companies to take responsibility based on the give and take model. While it’s true companies need to protect customer data – what about us, what is our level of responsibility in protecting our own data? Our survey says consumers feel the responsibility to secure their data is very little. According to Gemalto’s 2016 Data Breaches and Customer Loyalty report, consumers prefer to hold the organizations they use to transact and communicate through, responsible instead for their data security. According to 9,000 consumers surveyed globally, 70% of the responsibility for protecting and securing customer data lies with companies and only 30% of the responsibility with themselves.

Consumer data security affects businessesIt seems we are more concerned with convenience and leave the security up to the businesses offering the services, Nearly six in ten (58%) consumers believe they will be a victim of a breach at some point, and organizations need to be prepared for the loss of business such incidents may cause. The data shows consumers feel pretty strongly about it too. The majority of consumers say they would stop using a retailer (60%), bank (58%) or social media site (56%) if it suffered a breach, while 66% say they would be unlikely to do business with an organization that experienced a breach where their financial and sensitive information was stolen.

Consumers seemed to have made the decision that they are prepared to take risks when it comes to their security, but should anything go wrong they put the blame with the business. The fact is, we can’t play the blame game. Government regulations hold companies responsible for protecting data by things like GDPR or data breach disclosure laws. But consumers need to take advantage of current ways to protect themselves, for example, many banks, online retailers and social media sites offer a two-factor authentication option. Unfortunately, we often ignore it for convenience sake.

Business held responsible for consumer data security

The modern-day consumer is all about convenience and they expect businesses to provide this, while also keeping their data safe. With the impending threats of consumers taking legal action against companies, an education process is clearly needed to show consumers the steps they are taking to protect their data. Implementing and educating about advanced protocols like two-factor authentication and encryption solutions, should show consumers that the protection of their personal data is being taken very seriously.

Learn how important consumer data security is, explore the detailed findings of the 2016 Data Breaches and Consumer Loyalty Report and share the Data Breaches and Customer Loyalty Infographic and video.

Download the Customer Loyalty Infographic                     Watch the Data Breach Customer Loyalty Video

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