Are Customers Really Ditching Data Leakers?

from the are-they-really? dept

Earlier this year, it seemed like you couldn't go two days without hearing about yet another data leak -- and each one seemed to be bigger than the previous one. It was, basically, nearly impossible not to have some company accidentally (or through sheer stupidity) leak your private data recently. Now, one research firm has looked into how people reacted to the news of such data leaks, and the results are quite mixed. An awful lot of them (about 40%) ignored notices about the data leaks, believing they were junk mail or a telemarketing call. That's not all that surprising (and it wouldn't be surprising to find out that companies sending out such mailings made them look as easy to ignore as possible). However, the study also found that another group, about 20% of those who found out their data was leaked, went on to sever ties with the company that leaked their data. Of course, that works if you have a direct relationship with the company, but how do you sever ties with a company like Choicepoint who collects all kind of data on you without letting you know about it? Or what about all those universities that leaked info on their alumni? Also, you have to wonder how many people really cut ties to these firms, or just said they did because they felt they should. There could be some bias in the survey results. Either way, if it turns out that people really are bailing out on firms that leak their data maybe some of these firms will finally start taking the issue a bit more seriously -- but somehow, that still doesn't seem all that likely.

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  • identicon
    Agent Greg, 5 Oct 2005 @ 11:04am

    i would tend to agree

    I am an insurance agent for a major company and i know what you speak of when you mention Choicepoint. All you need is a name and a date of birth. After this you can receive just about any and all information you want and or need - social security number, address, criminal records, so on and so forth. After reading your article I realized how unsafe this is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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