UK consumers have lost trust in businesses that mishandle data
UK consumers have lost trust in businesses that mishandle data

Two-thirds of the UK public have lost trust in or even boycotted businesses that mishandle data.

New research conducted by the RSA reveals that a rise in high profile data breaches has ruined consumer trust in online businesses.  More than 2,000 UK consumers were surveyed for the report.

Twenty-four percent of respondents said that they have become numb or immune to news headlines discussing data breaches, while nearly one in 10 said they don't care about data loss.

A further 34 percent have lost trust with companies' ability to look after their data, yet they continue to use the company anyway.

More than half (57 percent) said that despite many high profile breaches over the last year, they have no idea how many times their data was lost.

More worrying for businesses is the fact that 28 percent said they chose to boycott companies that mishandle data, opting to use more secure alternatives instead. Mishandling data is a growing risk to business revenue as six percent said they were completely moving away from online services.

Soon, with the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in 2018, businesses will be required to disclose their data breaches within 72 hours. This will make data breach reporting even more common as opposed to the only 10 percent that are made public today.

Only 15 percent of respondents have heard of EU GDPR regulations. Meanwhile, 76 percent have heard of the UK Data Protection Act and 12 percent are aware of the Investigatory Powers Act, though more commonly by “The Snooper's Charter” (22 percent).

More than half (53 percent) feel the fines proposed under the EU GDPR are fair, but 20 percent feel customers should be financially compensated directly in response to their data being lost.

“When you read headline after headline of high profile data breaches, it is easy to despair and lose trust in businesses' ability to look after our data. Things are only going to get worse once mandatory breach notification is introduced under the GDPR, as these breaches will become even more public,” said Rashmi Knowles, field CTO EMEA at RSA, in a statement. “We can see some consumers are already boycotting companies that mishandle data, so this should be a real wakeup call. Organisations can no longer see data breaches as an abstract tech or IT problem.”