Survey: Majority of Consumers Avoid Companies That Expose Their Data

July 17, 2009

More than 70 percent of consumers surveyed said they would no longer do business with a company that exposed their sensitive, personal information as result of a data security breach, according to research conducted for Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Identity Theft 911.

Approximately 77 percent of respondents said they were “somewhat” or “very” concerned that identity theft could happen to them or someone close to them, and nearly 30 percent said they had received at least one data breach notification letter in the past two years, with half of those getting more than one letter.

“Businesses have a fiduciary obligation to treat personally identifiable information like assets,” said Matthew Cullina, CEO of Identity Theft 911, an identity theft resolution and education services provider. “They wouldn’t leave money unprotected, and they should take the same approach with personal data they are entrusted with. Every week, we read about another data breach, and consumers are not only angry, they feel violated when companies do not safeguard their personal information.”

Results of the survey, conducted by GfK Custom Research, include:

  • If their personal information was exposed, respondents said they would feel “angry” (33 percent), “violated” (27 percent), “annoyed” (21 percent) or “anxious” (14 percent).
  • Depending on their age, 72 percent to 81 percent of those surveyed said they were concerned identity theft could happen to them or someone close.
  • If their data was exposed, the majority of respondents said they would want: a letter from the company explaining what happened and what was being done to respond (80 percent); free access to “live” expert fraud specialists providing one-on-one assistance (76 percent); free credit monitoring tools (70 percent); and identity theft insurance (55 percent).

The telephone survey was conducted April 17-19 by GfK Custom Research among 1,000 randomly selected men and women 18 years or older in approximately equal number. For a copy of the full report, visit

Source: Identity Theft 911

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