If a company has been involved in a data breach more than 82 per cent of customers would stop engaging with that brand, according to a new consumer survey from security company Ping Identity. 

The survey, Trust and Accountability in the Era of Breaches and Data Misuse shows how data misuse and security breaches are impacting Australian consumer behaviour. 

More Australians are concerned about their data with 49 per cent of respondents saying they are more concerned about protecting their personal information than they were one year ago. 

Sharing data is also a problem for consumers, 59 per cent of respondents said a company sharing their personal data without permission will deter them from using that brand’s products.

Richard Bird, chief customer information officer, Ping Identity said, “There’s no question, businesses risk losing customers and damaging their brands if they lack strong, transparent data protection practices. 

“With a large percentage of consumers holding companies responsible for data protection, there is a competitive advantage for organisations that deliver secure and convenient experiences through identity management—and with that, a danger for those who don’t.”

Social media companies are the least trusted sectors, according to the report. Ping Identity said only 25 per cent of respondents reported they feel confident in these platforms’ ability to protect their personal information. 

Richard Bird, Chief Customer Information Officer, Ping Identity

Bird said there are three things consumers want from their data. Firstly they want their data to be private and secondly, they want to dictate how their data is used. 

During a recent briefing in Sydney Bird said, “We’re seeing a strong interest by consumers to say ‘protect my data, allow me to do what I want to do with my data, but also protect me’.”

From the survey, two thirds of respondents said they wanted companies to protect them and their data. 

“The challenge that we face is that many people feel helpless or hopeless and being able to manage their own security because it’s too complicated and too many passwords and all kinds of issues in the way that you structure [the questions],” Bird explained. 

Thirdly, consumers want customer experience. 

The survey notes poor login experiences lead to cancelled services. For example, 64 per cent of respondents said they are frustrated by login experiences and 48 per cent have stopped using a service because of the poor experience. 

Bird said if customer experience continues to be poor, users will cancel their subscription or membership with a brand. 

“Look at the experience that customers have now making commercial choices based upon poor experience of login and coupled with an expectation of security,” he said.

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