Briefing: Data Security fears rise among consumers

Author: Guy Lean

A new report by Symantec found that 49% of UK consumers and 57% of European consumers are worried their data is not safe. The State of Privacy Report 2015 found that 81% people now recognise that their personal data has value, and one in three people give fake personal data so that their real information remains private. Whilst hospitality companies continue to find innovative ways to organise data and use it to personalise service, it is imperative that they ensure security is robust or they risk losing customers.

In this week’s videos, industry experts discuss responsible data usage:

Symantec’s survey of 7,000 people was conducted across Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK in December 2014. On average 88% of respondents said that a company keeping data safe and secure was an important factor in choosing a company to shop with. This ranked higher than great customer service (82%) and having quality products (86%).

A second information security company, TRUSTe found similar results in it’s 2015 Consumer Confidence Privacy Indexes which showed that 42% of Americans and 33% of UK residents are now more worried about their online privacy than they were year ago. The reports state that 77% of Americans and 80% of UK residents have moderated their online activity in the last year due to privacy concerns.

It is clear that there are negative impacts on a business when security is not properly addressed. One hotel booking site closed down last year after a major issue with the way it handled data meant that customers’ booking information could easily be accessed by members of the public, according to this BBC report.

There are regulations in place that all business are required to follow which define how they can hold data and what they must tell the consumer when collecting information. In the UK there is the Data protection Act 1998 which now includes a paper specifically written to address the issue of big data. In the US the Consumer Bill of Rights is being drafted to update data privacy policy.

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Video clips produced by for the Hospitality Channel, including interview from industry conferences such as the IHIF conference as well as specific Hospitality Channel shoots.