New Report Shows Majority of Americans Taking Data Privacy Seriously

A new consumer data report published by KPMG shows that the average American consumer is starting to become very suspicious of how companies are collecting and using their data, in what is currently a trillion dollar industry. KPMG’s report focuses on corporate data responsibility and how current companies and consumers’ expectations for data privacy and management are on very different wavelengths. To learn more about how consumers are thinking about data privacy and what they expect from corporations, KPMG surveyed 1,000 Americans with basic questions regarding data security and privacy.

So, what specifically do American consumers care about? Well, KPMG’s survey showed that, unless businesses strengthen their privacy policies, they risk losing customer trust and, eventually, collection of the consumer data in general. The study revealed that nine out of ten respondents believe that corporations should be held accountable for corporate data breaches (91%) and take the lead in developing corporate data responsibility (91%). 

While a lot of consumers were not specifically aware of regulations like Europe’s GDPR or California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), they supported the fundamental principles which make up these two significant pieces of data privacy legislation. Surprisingly, only one out of every three respondents (33%) knew what the CCPA was.

The responsibility for data privacy should not be placed solely on consumers or companies. Instead, we should work to find a middle ground. In 2020, businesses must properly monitor, handle and use customer data in an ethical manner. These data privacy problems aren’t going anywhere and will only increase in volume and danger. 

Steve Stein, head of KPMG Cyber Security Services, said: “Part of the challenge for corporations will be getting employees and customers to do their part in protecting their own data.” Companies that employ more data discovery and protection tools can be a viable solution for greater control over the data they are collecting, thus promoting consumer trust. 

KPMG’s study also shows Americans are taking steps to protect their personal data, such as not opening email attachments from unknown senders (65%), using different passwords across websites (51%) and using multi-factor authentication wherever possible (39%). Still, there is more that can be done to secure your data from both a consumer and businesses standpoint. Companies that set strong data privacy and security guidelines now will only be better off for the future. Promoting general corporate data responsibility will ultimately lead to more transparency and more accountability.