Report: Consumers Increasingly Distrustful of Companies’ Personal Data Protection Practices

In the Midwest, 90 percent of consumers say data privacy is a human right, according to a new study by KPMG, an audit, tax, and advisory services firm with a large practice in metro Detroit.
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data privacy illustration
According to a recent survey, 90 percent of consumers in the Midwest say data privacy is a human right. // Stock photo

In the Midwest, 90 percent of consumers say data privacy is a human right, according to a new study by KPMG, an audit, tax, and advisory services firm with a large practice in metro Detroit.

The New Imperative for Corporate Data Responsibility study reveals how Americans are thinking about data privacy and what they expect from corporations using their personal data. Nationally, 87 percent of consumers said data privacy is a human right.

About 69 percent of Midwesterners say they don’t trust companies to ethically sell their data, and 67 percent of these respondents say they are generally familiar with how companies collect their data.

About 92 percent of Midwest respondents agree that the right to delete personal data and the right to know how data is being used should be extended to all U.S. citizens; 95 percent of respondents say corporations should take the lead in establishing corporate data responsibility.

The report also details steps enterprises should take to better protect, manage, and ethically use consumer data in 2020: adopt a principles-based approach by considering consumer demands for ethical use of data and be flexible to comply with changing regulations, and conduct privacy impact assessments and consider how privacy will be impacted due to COVID-19, which has brought forth new use cases for technology, creating new processes.

Other steps include incorporating transparency to develop strong data privacy controls that consumers are aware of, building trust and goodwill, and leveraging emerging technologies with data discovery and protection tools and considering blockchain and artificial intelligence as a way to increase consumer control over data.

Companies use the data to drive strategy and insights.

“Getting data protection and management right isn’t optional,” says Orson Lucas, principal of cyber security services at KPMG U.S. “Corporations rely on the insights they get from customer data to sharpen their strategy and enhance the customer experience. But with access to that data comes an obligation to protect it. Ultimately, consumers will hold organizations that fail to do so accountable.”

KPMG surveyed 1,000 Americans. More information is available here. The company has offices worldwide.

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