Online Privacy: 70% of U.S. Consumers are Increasingly Concerned

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U.S. consumers are increasingly concerned about online privacy, according to a new online privacy survey from IDC. More than 8 in 10 survey participants expressed concern regarding the security of their personally identifiable information (PII), IDC highlights in a press release. Furthermore, 7 in 10 said they were more concerned about the security of PII than they were a few years ago.

The market research provider also highlights two factors online merchants and service providers should bear in mind:

  • Demographics Matter: Younger consumers, those age 18-35, demonstrate a higher concern for their personally identifiable information than do their 36-50 year-old counterparts.
  • Call to Action: Hyper awareness and growing sensitivity toward data exposure appear to have consumers on the verge of making serious changes in their behavior.

“Technologies continue to integrate into the human experience and businesses and government entities leverage data-sharing ecosystems to provide services or sell products,” elaborated Sean Pike, IDC program VP, Security Products and eDiscovery & Information Governance.

“The resulting impact is that individuals feel overly connected and may yearn for greater anonymity. It is against this backdrop – when consumers feel their private information is in jeopardy – that they appear poised to take action.”

Online Privacy Survey

IDC canvassed professionals working in four relevant vertical industry sectors – financial services, healthcare, retail and government – in producing the “IDC Special Report: Measuring U.S. Privacy Sentiment.”

Changing their buying behavior or shifting loyalty number among the punitive actions consumers might take in the event of their PII being compromised, according to IDC’s report.

Business leaders not only need to understand the risks inolved when collecting consumer PII, they need to be aware of and thoroughly understand potential security solutions available that can help manage collection, processing and use of sensitive PII data, Pike cautioned.

In recent, related market research, Lincoln Park Strategies, Rad Campaign and the Craig Newmark Foundation found that more Americans than ever don’t trust social media networks. Moreover, many don’t believe current laws are adequate.

That hasn’t stopped Internet users from making frequent use of social media – quite the contrary in fact. According to the survey results, 8 in 10 said they’re using social media daily. Nevertheless, 96 percent said they don’t trust that social media network companies will protect their online privacy.

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