Consumers demand tougher action on privacy breaches

DataIQ News

The vast majority of consumers not only want greater transparency and control of their own data, they also want increased penalties for companies which violate their privacy.

So says a new Internet of Things report from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), sponsored by ForgeRock, which shows that the surge data gathering through connected devices is leading to growing consumer concerns about how personal information is collected and shared with third parties.

Based on a survey of 1,629 consumers from eight countries around the world, it reveals that consumers worry that small privacy invasions may lead to a loss of civil rights.

Among the findings are that 92% of global consumers say they want to control what personal information is automatically collected, and exactly the same amount want to increase punishments for companies that violate consumers' privacy.

Some 89% cite their discomfort with the ability of third parties to access personal data without their consent and 57% say the "right to be forgotten" is among the most important consumer rights regarding third-party use of personal information.

ForgeRock vice-president of industries financial and regulatory Nick Caley said: "What stands out in this new EIU report is the overwhelming opinion of respondents calling for increased punishments for companies that violate consumers' privacy.

"This report should be a wake-up call for any organisation that handles customer data, but financial services firms should take particular note.

"As industry stakeholders adjust infrastructure and practices to comply with Open Banking, PSD2 and GDPR, they need to keep in mind that regulators have made consent a key requirement of each of these laws. Consent is not mandated in all customer interactions, but given the distinct advantages consent brings, it's always preferable to have it. The EIU study clearly shows that consumers expect organisations to solicit and secure individuals' consent before they collect personal data, and rightly so."