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What the Consumer Privacy Index Means for Business

 

Today is Data Privacy Day, an international privacy awareness and education effort held annually on January 28. You can learn more about the event from the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), which has been leading the effort since 2011. In honor of this event, I would like to take some time today to highlight how privacy concerns are a priority for current consumers and how you can address those concerns, with the help of the U.S. Consumer Privacy Index 2016 (infographic seen below). While 89% of consumers say they avoid companies that do not protect their privacy, only 31% say they actually understand how companies share their personal information. Furthermore, the top cause for privacy concern for 37% of consumers is companies collecting and sharing personal information with other companies. If your business has a clear privacy policy that specifies how you will or will not share personal data, more consumers will trust you to keep their information protected.

It's extremely important to note that you must follow through with what your privacy policy says! If you assure your consumer or client that you will protect personal information, and then you share it anyway, you will have exponentially more negative backlash than if you had not overstated your privacy policy in the first place. Only 56% of consumers trust businesses with their information online; you can help increase this statistic by making every effort to safeguard the personal data with which your business has been trusted.

For more information about consumers' privacy concerns, take a look at the TRUSTe/NCSA infographic below.