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Survey: Consumers cynical about how organizations protect data

Security Identity Management Alert By Dave Kearns, Network World
September 20, 2011 06:09 AM ET
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A few weeks ago we examined some results from a survey ("Who's stealing your data?") commissioned by SailPoint. This week they've released more results from that effort focusing on financial institutions, retailers and healthcare organizations and the cynicism consumers express about how these organizations are protecting their data.

According to SailPoint's Market Pulse Survey, the majority of adults in the United States, Great Britain and Australia are worried about possible exposure of their personal information, and a large percentage of adults have lost confidence in how companies protect their personal information.

WARNING: HIPAA has teeth and will bite over healthcare privacy blunders

80% of Americans, 81% of Britons and 83% of Australians are concerned about moving their personal medical information to an electronic form. When asked about a healthcare organization managing their personal information electronically, respondents are most concerned about:

• Their identities being stolen (35% of Americans, 33% of Britons and 37% of Australians).

• Personal info being exposed on the Internet (29% of Americans, 26% of Britons and 30% of Australians).

• Personal information being viewed by persons not directly related to the patient's care (10% of Americans, 15% of Britons and 11% of Australians).

• The possibility of an employer learning about a private health condition (5% of Americans, 5% of Britons and 3% of Australians).

The survey also indicated that not only do security breaches at financial institutions or retailers severely impact customer loyalty, but a large percentage of consumers have lost confidence in the businesses they frequent. Consumers have a cynical view of their providers' security policies and view security breaches as commonplace. 16% of Americans, 24% of Britons and 26% of Australians report they would no longer do business with a bank, a credit card company or a retailer that had a security breach resulting in their personal information potentially being stolen. Within that group, a large percentage (10% of Americans, 14% of Britons and 16% of Australians) would also tell their family and friends not to do business with that organization.

I should point out that SailPoint is a major player in the data governance arena, and their IdentityIQ offering is one of the highest rated in the field. Check it for yourself.

If you happen to be in the vicinity of Brussels next Thursday, I'll be speaking at an EU sponsored event ("Reaping the benefits of eID in different business sectors within the EU and beyond"), and there are still a few places left for this free all-day conference.

Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

Dave Kearns is senior analyst for Kuppinger-Cole and editor of IdM, the Journal of Identity Management.

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