News Byte: Half of Americans Now "Very Concerned" About Data Breaches

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No trust for marketers online
No trust for marketers online

Some three fifths of consumers said that worries over the safety of their personal information have risen in the last 12 months. Half of all Americans are now “very concerned,” according to the results of a survey of more than 1,000 people released today by researcher Gfk.

Gfk undertook the project to determine whether high-profile breaches on the part of Target, Neiman Marcus, and other organizations last year had heightened fears over PII safety. The answer was a resounding “yes,” and people's trepidations appeared to be based on personal experience. A third of those surveyed said they had been subjected to online fraud, and 11% said it had happened to them “several times.”

As a result, nearly half of them had said they had begun avoiding particular online platforms and had also started seeking added protections through social networks, online authorities, and search engines.

Despite the fact that the most highly publicized breaches involved brick-and-mortar retailers, all marketers and advertisers face repercussions. Less than 40% of those surveyed said they trust them, though two thirds said they continue to have high regard for online retailers, healthcare providers, and online payment systems.

Generally speaking, the older a consumer is the less he trusts marketers. Seventy-five percent of pre-Baby Boomers and 60% of Boomers said marketers needed to take a hard look at their data privacy policies, compared to only about 50% of Gen Xers and 46% of Millennials.

A desire for increased policing of data usage, however, was a constant across all generations. Nearly 80% of the entire sample said they felt there should be more regulation controlling the use of third-party data in marketing campaigns.

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