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British consumers will shun companies that don't safeguard their data

(Image credit: Image Credit: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock)

New research from the multi-cloud data management firm, Veritas (opens in new tab) has revealed that UK consumers have little trust in organisations to safeguard their data and some are even prepared to go as far as to boycott businesses that fail to do so. 

The 2018 Veritas Global Data Privacy Consumer Study (opens in new tab) surveyed 12,500 consumers across 14 countries to better understand their thoughts on the ability of businesses to protect their personal data (opens in new tab). Of those surveyed, 39 per cent believe that businesses don't know how to protect their data. 

Consumers are also ready to take action against companies that fail to implement the necessary safeguards to protect themselves from falling victim to a data breach. Over half (56%) of respondents said that they would stop buying from a business that fails to protect their data while 47 per cent would abandon their brand loyalty and consider turning to a competitor following a serious breach. 

Customers that feel their personal data was left unprotected would also be willing to inform others with 79 per cent saying they would tell friends and family to boycott a company. Almost three quarters (74%) would also be willing to report the business to regulators. More than half (60%) of UK consumers also said they would post negative comments about the business online. 

However, Veritas' research also highlighted the fact that consumers are prepared to reward companies that properly protect their data with 46 per cent of UK respondents willing to spend more with businesses that keep their data safe.

Senior Director and global privacy lead at Veritas, Tamzin Evershed provided further insight on the findings of the study, saying: 

“Trust in businesses has been eroded by breaches and high-profile cases where firms have shown a lack of understanding of how the consumer data they hold is used or shared. As consumers demand more transparency and accountability from businesses, the ‘new norm’ will see consumers rewarding those organisations that have good data hygiene practices in place while punishing those that don't. Businesses must be seen as trusted custodians of data if they want to reap the rewards associated with building consumer confidence.”   

Image Credit: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.