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Bridging the Trust Gap in Data Collection Ethics



What is the responsibility of data collection and privacy?


KPMG recently polled 2,000 Americans and 250 decision-makers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees about security, privacy, and data. According to the report, there is a significant gap between how businesses and the general public view data collection ethics.


It is all too easy for business leaders to be self-assured:


According to the KPMG report, business executives are increasing their data collection.


  • 70% of respondents said that data collection from consumers has increased in the last year.


  • 62% of respondents believe their companies should do more to protect their customers' personal information.


  • 33% of consumers believe they should be more conscious of their data.


  • 29% of respondents stated that their company frequently uses unethical data collection methods.



Business leaders may be overconfident about their organization's ability to deal with a data breach. Ninety-two percent of surveyed leaders believed they were prepared for a data breach, and 95% said their organization is very secure with data security measures. Many employees, however, claimed that they were not receiving an adequate education.


This study reveals a chasm between the company's management and its employees. For example, only 47 percent of full-time employees and 42 percent of part-time employees reported having received password security training. Data protection, email security, privacy policies, and phishing scam training have lower percentages.


Consumers question data collection ethics:


A large portion of the general population in the United States is becoming increasingly skeptical of data collection. Survey respondents expressed growing rage, even toward their employers.


  • 86% of respondents are concerned about personal data privacy.

  • 68% of respondents are concerned about the amount of data being collected.

  • 40% do not trust companies' ethical data collection practices.

  • 30% are unwilling to provide personal information for any reason.

  • 13% are unsure whether they can trust their employer's data collection practices.



It is important to note that data collection is perceived differently in different industries. According to a separate data collection survey conducted by McKinsey, 40% of respondents believe the financial and healthcare sectors are the most dependable in terms of data and privacy security. In comparison, only 10% of respondents named the most trusted media, CPG, and entertainment companies.


The Age of Covid and Data Collection:


Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, public concern is likely to rise. An IBM investigation into data breaches discovered that remote working caused by the disease slows response time to breaches.


According to an IBM Security Intelligence analysis of the IBM report, "at organizations with more than 50% remote work adoption, it took an average of 316 days to identify and contain the breach."


"Compared to the overall average of 287 days, increased levels of remote work appeared to extend the time it took to contain a breach by nearly a month."


Since the outbreak, remote workers have expressed concern about a lack of data privacy training. They are concerned about being held accountable if a data loss incident occurs.


Data Collection Best Practices:


Is it possible to bridge trust gaps? The KPMG report provides a number of recommendations for business leaders to persuade customers to return.


Transparency is essential:


Three-quarters of respondents wanted companies to be more transparent about how they use their personal information.

Allow consumers to have more control over their lives: Consumers expressed an interest in determining how frequently companies share their information with them and in reviewing data that the company has already gathered on them.


Data is anonymized:


Anonymizing data preserves the value of consumer data for the business without jeopardizing protected private information.


Be accountable: Half of those polled said they didn't know how to secure their data. The vast majority (88 percent) of them said they want companies to set the standard for developing data accountability policies.


Finally, when data collection does not work, businesses must act ethically. The majority of consumers polled said they did not trust businesses to protect their personal information. If a data breach occurs, do not try to hide it. Create a disaster recovery strategy and outline the steps you took to alleviate public fear.







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