[January 26, 2006]

Theft of personal information number one concern among consumers worldwide: survey

(Comtex Environment Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)HONG KONG, Jan 26, 2006 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- A latest global survey reveals
that the theft or loss of personal or financial information is the
number one concern among consumers worldwide.

The survey, conducted by world leading research firm Harris
Interactive, which was commissioned by Visa International, says
the theft or loss of personal or financial information is the
number one concern (64 percent) among consumers worldwide, surpassing environmental degradation (62 percent) and terrorism
(58 percent) as causes for concern.

Other major issues for the consumers are job losses, disease or
epidemics, and natural disasters, the survey says.

Seventy-seven percent of the Chinese surveyed are highly
concerned about having personal or financial information lost or
stolen, 13 points higher than the worldwide average, the survey

Corresponding to China's overall concerns, an overwhelming 90
percent of the Chinese reported that they are more concerned as a
result of what they have heard or seen in the news over the past
few months regarding people's personal or financial information
being lost or stolen.

Twenty-one percent of Chinese consumers consider it very or
extremely likely that their personal or financial information will
be lost or stolen in the near future.

More than 6,000 consumers in 12 countries including Australia, China, India, Japan in the Asia Pacific region responded to the
survey, which was conducted in November and December 2005 by
Harris Interactive.

Seventy-six percent of consumers in India were also very
concerned about lost or stolen information. At 52 percent and 48
percent respectively, the levels of concern dropped significantly
among consumers in Japan and Australia, the other two Asia-Pacific
markets included in the survey.

"Ensuring world class data security in rapidly developing
markets is a top priority for Visa and its members," said Peter
Maher, executive vice president and general manager, Risk
Management, Visa Asia Pacific.

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