Feb 25, 2019 - Technology

Consumers kinda, sorta care about their data

Photo of Apple ad in Las Vegas for CES reading "What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone"

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

A full 81% of consumers say that in the past year they've become more concerned with how companies are using their data, and 87% say they've come to believe companies that manage personal data should be more regulated, according to a survey out Monday by IBM's Institute for Business Value.

Yes, but: They aren't totally convinced they should care about how their data is being used, and many aren't taking meaningful action after privacy breaches, according to the survey. Despite increasing data risks, 71% say it's worth sacrificing privacy given the benefits of technology.

By the numbers:

  • 89% say technology companies need to be more transparent about their products
  • 75% say that in the past year they've become less likely to trust companies with their personal data
  • 88% say the emergence of technologies like AI increase the need for clear policies about the use of personal data.

The other side: Despite increasing awareness of privacy and security breaches, most consumers aren't taking consequential action to protect their personal data.

  • Fewer than half (45%) report that they've updated privacy settings, and only 16% stopped doing business with an entity due to data misuse.

Be smart: There's a surprisingly large group of consumers globally who are clueless about the risks to their data: 3 out of 10 people polled say they're unaware of data breaches that have occurred. But awareness grows with every massive privacy incident, and so does pressure on businesses to button up their data policies.

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