Research: 68 Percent Feel They Have No Control Over the Way Businesses Use Personal Info

Results from Edelman’s study “Privacy & Security: The New Drivers of Brand, Reputation and Action Global Insights 2012” show that people are growing more concerned about data security and privacy. Of the 4,050 adults (18 years and older) who were surveyed, 68 percent say they think they’ve lost control over the ways that businesses use and share their information.

The study also found that about half of people shopping for a personal computer or smartphone, and 42 percent of those shopping for a tablet take data security into consideration before making a purchase.

These results cut across all industries and can have an impact on customer loyalty.

The privacy issue reared its head when Google recently introduced a new policy that some say could actually make personal data more vulnerable. And now there’s concern about a dearth of privacy experts overseas.

Pete Pedersen, chairman of Edelman’s global tech practice, said in a statement that privacy and security must become a “core competency” for businesses. Gaining consumer trust is going to depend heavily on a company’s ability to protect collected data.

This study was conducted by Edelman’s research firm StrategyOne between January 31 and February 5, 2012 in the U.S. and between February 7  and February 15, 2012 abroad. Adults were polled online across seven countries.

[image: part of an Edelman infographic for the study]