Why NSA snooping is making us all paranoid

TRP: What is to blame for the lack of trust?

DR: Media coverage of issues relating to data security and privacy also seems to be responsible for dwindling trust.

21% noted that Edward Snowden's revelations around the USA's National Security Agency PRISM programme – allowing it to tap into consumer communications on and offline – had influenced their thinking, with 19% noting that they had seen an incident of personal data theft or loss reported on in the news.

These factors combined seem to point to an overall heightened awareness of security, with 48% noting that they are generally more conscious of data issues.

This erosion of trust appears to be felt most acutely by the older generation. Those aged 55 and above were much more likely (40%) to suggest they were less trusting of organisations to safeguard their information. Just 1% of this group say that their faith in those parties has increased.

Conversely, teenagers and those in their early 20s are the most likely to be reassured that their data is in safe hands.

Edward Snowden triggered an avalanche of distrust

Edward Snowden triggered an avalanche of distrust

18-24 year-olds are twice as likely (16%) to say that their confidence in organisations to protect their privacy has increased, and are less likely than any other group (24%) to say that it has decreased.

"Trust" as a whole was a major issue. 65% noted that they had concerns about whether the Government would use their data securely, matched closely by 69% who said the same of any organisation that holds their data.

Should consumers start thinking about trading their data in order to receive more relevant marketing?
As with any customer experience, proof is a great confidence builder.

Just as shoppers will choose brands based on past experiences of quality or value, one of the major challenges for organisations seems to be in proving that they can deliver on the data dream – that they can offer a personalised experience that consumers care about. Our research suggests that this is easier said than done.

While customers should already be seeing the benefit of data collection, one example is in retail where a staggering 35% of consumers receive inaccurate communications from their retailers.

TRP: Who should be accountable for when there is a data disaster?

DR: We're all responsible for keeping our data secure. Having your personal data stolen is like being mugged for your handbag. Nowadays we keep as much information, if not more, in our online wallet as we do in our purse.

Our recent Data Research Report showed that 68% of consumers considered themselves responsible for keeping their data secure. The research report also highlighted a lack of consumer trust in organisations, with only 9% stating that they believed organisations were doing enough to secure their data.

However, we are still seeing numerous incidents where malware which infects consumer computers, making them more vulnerable to attack than ever before. A sophisticated criminal industry, designed solely to access consumer data, has emerged online continues and is starting to dominate our lives.

The effort for both consumers and organisations alike to beat this is industrial, as companies are no longer fighting against individuals but smart technologies which are evolving as quickly as online protection tools.

Organisations need to ensure consumers are educated continually on the importance of online security, giving them easier, but more secure ways to protect themselves – whether that be through mobile alerts, or biometric technology.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.