Consumers demand compulsory public data loss disclosures

Research results follow this week's large fines for data loss

Eighty percent of UK consumers support compulsory public data loss disclosures by organisations, reasearch has shown, in response to continuing data breaches.

OnePoll questioned 5,000 consumers over the web on behalf of log data management firm LogRhythm, and found the large majority wanted a US-style data breach disclosure regime.

Consumers were in no doubt about the need for stronger government intervention with 70 percent believing more prescriptive regulations are necessary.

Many thought there should be tougher penalties with 62 percent feeling that organisations should receive large fines, and 31 percent suggesting company directors should be subject to criminal proceedings.

The Information Commissioner's Office was recently given the power to fine organisations up to £500,000 for "serious" data breaches, and announced its first big fines this week.

Ross Brewer, vice president at LogRhythm, said: "Responding to a recent European Commission personal data protection strategy document, the European data protection supervisor came out in support of wide-ranging reform of data protection laws, including the implementation of mandatory data breach notifications. Our research suggests there is solid public support for such moves."

The research also found that 63 percent of respondents were concerned that they may become a victim of identity theft through no fault of their own. And half believed neither public nor private sector organisations have sufficient security measures in place to adequately safeguard sensitive data.

Further resullts from the survey probably illustrate why many firms would be fearful of compulsory public disclosure of their data breaches.

The finding show that when people hear about the loss of confidential information they will actively avoid the organisations involved. The results show that 66 percent would try to avoid future interactions with the data loss organisation, while 17 percent were adamant they definitely would not have anything more to do with it.

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