Data protection: 4 out of 5 ready to pay more to organizations that protect personal data: Report, ET BrandEquity
The key to restoring this trust lies in better information management and protection, combining a robust Enterprise Information Management strategy with multi-layered security and data protection that provides greater security and provides an information advantage.
New research from OpenText reveals the growing level of concern among Indians about privacy and the protection of personal data since the start of the pandemic. The survey findings show a general lack of knowledge about what specific data is stored and for what reason, as well as a lack of trust in how organizations store and manage this data.
Highlights from the survey
With a pandemic living in the last two plus years accompanied by the widespread use of remote work, a general shift to doing everyday activities online and an intensified focus on the government’s Digital India programme, Indians are becoming more wary of those accessing their personal information. So much so that (87 percent) say they have new concerns about how organizations use their data since the pandemic began.
So strong are these concerns that roughly a fifth (21 percent) say they would no longer use or buy from a company they were previously loyal to if it failed to protect or leaked their personal data. In addition, more than four in five (83 percent) would be willing to pay more to use or buy from an organization that is expressly committed to protecting personal data.
New era of concern
As the world emerges from the worst global health crisis, Indians are increasingly concerned about how their data is being managed and protected in this new normal. In fact, more than nine in ten (93 percent) worry more about their personal data now that organizations are using distributed working models, and nearly four in ten (38 percent) expect these organizations to ensure that everything is secure, regardless of where employees work from .
On top of that, now that the use of apps like Arogya Setu is no longer mandatory, for example, two out of five Indians (40 percent) are concerned that their data will not be deleted even when it is not necessary to fight COVID- 19.
Sandy Ono, executive vice president and marketing manager at OpenText said: “Since the pandemic took hold in early 2020, consumer concerns about where and how their personal information is being used have increased. We are also now living in a time of unprecedented regulatory change with strict data privacy rules growing and evolving rapidly around the world. “While the need to protect personal data has become business-critical across all industry sectors and presents additional compliance challenges, it also presents an opportunity. By protecting customer data, organizations can safeguard customer trust, ensure continued brand loyalty, and thereby deliver an informational advantage.”
The trust is still not there
Privacy is clearly important to consumers, although nearly a quarter (24 percent) do not actually know what specific data is used, stored and accessed by organizations. Nevertheless, more than four in five (83 percent) said they would pay more for a company or third party to keep their information safe—almost identical to the 84 percent who said the same in a similar OpenText survey conducted in March 2020 .
This is perhaps not surprising given that less than half of Indians (48 percent) have full confidence in all the organizations they interact with to keep their data safe, while a third (32 percent) trust the capabilities of individual companies. More importantly, of course, loyalty depends on trust. When a customer’s trust is broken, so is their loyalty to a brand. More than a quarter of consumers (27 per cent) would no longer use or buy from a company they were previously loyal to if it did not respond to a data subject access request (DSAR) – including but not limited to the right to be informed, the right to access, right to rectification and right to erasure – while three in ten (31 per cent) would no longer use or buy from a company if it shared their personal data with third parties for anything other than the specified purpose.
Being interested in privacy laws
A growing awareness of the laws surrounding privacy and data protection means that companies cannot afford to play fast and loose with consumers’ data. Three in ten (30 per cent) Indian consumers say they have a vague idea about privacy laws – up from 31 per cent at the start of the pandemic.
Interestingly, however, the number of Indians who profess to be very aware of the laws protecting their privacy has increased over the past couple of years – from 61 percent in early 2020 to 66 percent in 2022. This suggests that while it may be better general knowledge about privacy laws, constant training is needed about specific rules and regulations.
Encouragingly, and perhaps spurred on by this growing awareness and, indeed, lack of trust in organizations, consumers (87 percent) know how to keep their data safe on the apps, email accounts and social media accounts they use. In addition, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) will regularly check to ensure they are following best practices to keep their data private and secure, such as turning on privacy settings, turning off geolocation, etc.
Manish Dangwal, Regional Vice President, India at Opentext, commented: “A large number of privacy concerns have surfaced in the survey results. Given the absence of a data protection law, Indians have no way to protect it. In light of the growing data landscape, it is clear that we must rethink the way we build and construct data environments. Ultimately, the goal of any organization should be to give the right people the right access and the right data from anywhere. A comprehensive legal framework is a need that will help protect personal data.”
Andy Teichholz, Global Industry Strategist, Compliance and Legal at OpenText, added: “There has never been a greater need for Enterprise Information Management solutions that not only support compliance with privacy and data protection laws, but provide competitive advantage and differentiation to maintain customer loyalty.”
He added, “Companies must promote an integrated, data-centric approach to information governance and privacy governance by leveraging discovery and classification tools to reduce risks associated with the way they handle privacy and sensitive data and secure content with stronger classification and retention capabilities. In today’s In the post-pandemic world, organizations must unlock their information assets to protect their customers’ information and, in doing so, allay their concerns and retain their trust.”