A recent poll by leading marketing research firm GfK reveals that almost
nine in ten (88%) US consumers are at least "a little" concerned about
the privacy of their personal data. One in three consumers also reports
being directly impacted by misuse of personal data within the past year.
The poll, conducted last month, collected insights into consumers'
attitudes, concerns, and desired solutions with regard to data and data
security. Roughly half (49%) say they are now "very much" concerned
about the privacy of their data, and 59% indicate that their concern has
risen in the last twelve months.
Consumers also say they want more protection; 56% indicate that top
organizations, such as social networks and credit card companies, need
to take action, and 54% believe the US government is not doing enough to
safeguard their data. Almost 80% feel that the government should be more
involved in implementing regulations to prevent organizations from
"repurposing personal data for third parties." But less than half (48%)
of consumers are changing their own online habits because of privacy
fears, by avoiding online banking, social networks, or other online
activities and resources.
"Shared data is, in many ways, the engine of the online economy,
especially in this era of Big Data," said GfK's CEO, Matthias Hartmann.
"Keeping a close eye on consumers' feelings about data privacy provides
essential intelligence for the marketplace - allowing quicker and
smarter reactions t emerging concerns. As a market research company,
GfK is already well versed in handling consumer data securely and
meeting the changing data needs of clients across a variety of
The survey shows that consumer trust is not equal across all industries.
Online retailers are still highly trusted by consumers - even after the
major data breaches of recent months - ranking as the third most trusted
type of organization to handle consumers' data. Hospitals and healthcare
providers rank at the top of the most-trusted organizations, receiving a
positive response from over 70% of respondents; but online social
networks land in the bottom three in terms of trust, earning positive
marks from only 39% of consumers.
The research also found significant differences in concern among the
The GfK poll, conducted in the wake of several considerable data
breaches of major brands gauged the attitudes of American consumers. GfK
conducted the survey from March 7 to March 9, 2014 among 1,000
respondents, all 18 years of age or over. The survey was conducted via
GfK's OmniWeb service, utilizing GfK's Consumer Online panel, a
representative sample of the online population. All completed interviews
were weighted to ensure an accurate and reliable representation of the
total online population.
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information
that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000
market research experts combine their passion with GfK's 80 years of
data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global
insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100
countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns
big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their
competitive edge and enrich consumers' experiences and choices.
For more information, please visit www.GfK.com/us
or follow GfK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GfK_en
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