Social media, government, and consumer media and entertainment companies least trusted to keep personal data secure

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  • Banking and finance, healthcare and consumer technology Companies trust the most trusted industries to protect personal information
  • Citizens of Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom and France are the least confident when it comes to personal data security
  • The vast majority of data breach victims have suffered a negative impact on their lives, with financial fraud coming out on top

PARIS – A new study from Thales has revealed that there is a lack of consumer confidence in all sectors to protect their personal data. The Thales Digital Consumer Trust Index 2022: A report on consumer trust in data security, conducted by Opinium and in partnership with the University of Warwick, found that social media companies (18%), government (14%) and security organizations media and entertainment (12%) all had the lowest levels of consumer confidence when it comes to protecting their personal data.

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In contrast, the study found that banking and finance (42%), healthcare providers (37%) and consumer technology companies (32%) were the sectors consumers trusted the most. to protect their sensitive information. Based on a survey of more than 21,000 consumers worldwide, the report highlights how global citizens are reacting to data exposures – both in personal behaviors and in attitudes towards businesses that have suffered a data breach, and the levels of trust they place in a wide range of industries as well as governments.

There were also significant differences in consumer confidence levels across countries regarding the security of their personal data. Consumers in Germany (23%), Australia, the UK and France (20%) are the least confident countries when it comes to the protection of personal data and digital services. By comparison, consumers in Brazil (95%), Mexico (92%) and the United Arab Emirates (91%) reported the highest levels of trust. These differences in trust between countries are likely the result of data protection regulations, such as the GDPR, which generate a wider awareness of privacy rights and lack of trust.

Consumers feel the impact

The report found that the vast majority (82%) of consumers worldwide reported a negative impact on their lives as a result of a data breach. Fraudulent use of their financial information (31%), fraudulent use of their personally identifiable information (PII) (25%) and targeted scams based on their information (25%) being the main impacts. Interestingly, financial fraud was reported to be highest in every country, with the only exception:

  • Germany (PII fraud: 31%)
  • Japan (spoofing: 30%)
  • UK (tailored scams: 25%)

Consumers protect themselves

When it comes to protecting themselves, one-fifth (21%) of consumers globally have stopped using a company that suffered a data breach. In fact, one in ten (8%) have taken legal action against a business, and a similar number (9%) are considering it.

Additionally, banking and financial services are where the majority of consumers (69%) are likely to spend most of their time adding additional security measures to protect and secure the personal data they store with them. This is followed by securing communications by e-mail (54%), social networks (48%) and online purchases or e-commerce (44%). Only a third (33%) of consumers are spending time implementing additional safety measures in healthcare and only a quarter (24%) are implementing them for travel-related industries.

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Carsten Maple, Professor of Cybernetic Systems Engineering, WMG and the University of Warwick, comments: “Data breaches are so common today that it’s interesting and important to know what consumers think about this issue, which industries they trust, and what they think needs to be done. This report provides new information on these issues, pointing out that there is a lack of trust in social media companies protecting consumer data, which might be expected, however, there is also a strong mistrust of governments protecting data Additionally, it shows that a significant number of those who experienced a breach took clear action, including opting out of service or taking legal action.

Action speaks louder than words

When it comes to what should happen to organizations that suffer a data breach, consumers around the world agree that better data security measures, such as encryption and user authentication protocols, need to be put in place. work. More than half (54%) think it should be mandatory. This was closely followed by compensating victims (53%), employing specialists to ensure it doesn’t happen again (46%), being responsible for finding victims’ data and having it returned (43%), compliance with stricter regulations (42%).

What interests regulators is that consumers’ lowest priority for taking action against companies that have had a data breach was that they receive hefty fines, with just over three in 10 (31 %) believing that it should be done.

Philippe Vallée, Executive Vice President, Digital Identity and Security at Thales, comments: “Consumers around the world have shown how important security is to them when it comes to digital services and their personal data. While many would assume that compensation would be high on the agenda, it was protecting the system and future users that came out on top. Additionally, nearly twice as many consumers wanted to ensure that the risks of future data breaches were mitigated by implementing better encryption and authentication protocols than facing hefty fines, indicating that they want to see real tangible change in the security practices being used.

“It is clear that consumers are increasingly accepting that their own cybersecurity carries risks and rewards; devote more time and importance to securing the parts of their online lives that matter most to them. However, with data becoming more and more valuable, this should only serve as a lesson to those in other industries in practicing best practices and implementing good cyber hygiene.

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About the 2022 Thales Consumer Digital Trust Index

The 2022 Thales Consumer Digital Trust Index is based on a global Opinium survey commissioned by Thales of over 21,000 consumers. Respondents came from 11 countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.

About Thales

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a world leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technologies – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group offers its customers – companies, organizations and administrations – in the fields of defence, aeronautics, space, transport, digital identity and security, solutions, services and products that help them to fulfill their critical role, with respect for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.

Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2021, the Group achieved a turnover of 16.2 billion euros.


Thales Group

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