Security News

Nine out of Ten Believe Data Privacy is a Human Right

A new report has shone light on consumers' concern for they way companies safeguard their personal data.

Professional services firm KPMG surveyed 1,000 Americans and found that data privacy is important to 97% of respondents, while 87% believe data privacy is a human right (considering the 'right to privacy' is mentioned in more than 150 national constitutions, the right to data privacy in this online world could well be considered a human right).

Moreso, consumers are concerned of the way companies use their data, with 68% not trusting companies to ethically sell personal data and around half of consumers not trusting companies to collect (53%), use (54%) or protect (50%) their data.

"The findings are unmistakable," says Orson Lucas, Principal, KPMG Security Services. "Data privacy and protection are clear priorities for consumers."

The survey appears to show this, with 70% of consumers saying they are familiar with how companies collect their data, use and store (64%), protect (63%) and sell (57%) data.

A high number of respondents - 86% - believe they have a responsibility to protect their own data. Three quarters consider it risky using public Wi-Fi or saving credit / debit card details online, while nearly eight in ten (78%) realise the possible risks associated with using the same password for multiple accounts. Despite this, more than 40% take the 'it won't happen to me' approach and engage in such behaviour for all three.

While a high number believe in personal responsibility, even more believe that companies (91%) and government (90%) have a role to play in consumer data protection. Around the same figure (92%) say that companies should have privacy guidelines in place, while 91% believe that companies should take corporate data responsibility seriously, take the lead in establishing corporate data responsibility and be held responsible for data breaches.

"With consumers indicating that they see data privacy as a human right, and new legislation expected in the years ahead, it is critical that companies begin to mature privacy programs and policies," said Lucas.

Looking ahead, 56% say companies should prioritize giving consumers more control over their data, provide timely and clear reports on breaches (55%) and limit the sale of data (53%). A far greater number (84%) were open to state legislation giving consumers more control of their data, much like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Nine out of ten agreed that, like the CCPA, they should have the right to delete personal data (91%), know how their data is being used (91%), opt out of having their data used (90%) and non-discrimination in the use od their data (89%).

"The easier companies make it for consumers to keep tabs on how their data is being used and protected, the easier companies will find it to build consumer trust," said Lucas. "This is being done by forward thinking corporations and likely to gain greater acceptance among corporate stakeholders responsible for data management."

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