From their Executive Summary:
Ponemon Institute’s Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study is an objective study that asks consumers to name and rate organizations they believe are most committed to protecting the privacy of their personal information. This annual study tracks consumers’ rankings of organizations that collect and manage their personal information.
More than 100,000 adult-aged consumers were asked to name up to five companies they believe to be the most trusted for protecting the privacy of their personal information. Consumer responses were gathered over a 15-week period concluding in December 2012 and resulted in a final sample of 6,704 respondents who, on average, provided 5.4 discernible company ratings that represent 25 different industries.
Following are our most salient findings:
- American Express (AMEX) continues to reign as the most trusted company for privacy among 217 organizations rated in our most trusted companies list.
- New entrants to this year’s top 20 most trusted list includes: Microsoft (ranked 17), United Healthcare (ranked 18) and Mozilla (ranked 20).
- Healthcare, consumer products, and banking are the industry segments considered by consumers to be the most trusted for privacy (among 25 industry categories). In contrast, Internet and social media, non-profits (charities) and toys are viewed as the least trusted for privacy.
- Seventy-eight percent of respondents continue to perceive privacy and the protection of their personal information as very important or important to the overall trust equation. Further, the importance of privacy has steadily trended upward over seven years.
- While most individuals say protecting the privacy of their personal information is very important, 63 percent of respondents admit to sharing their sensitive personal information with an organization they did not know or trust. Of those who admit to sharing, 60 percent say they did this solely for convenience such as when making a purchase.
- Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe their privacy rights are diminished or undermined by disruptive technologies such as social media, smart mobile devices and geo-tracking tools. Fifty-five percent say their privacy has been diminished by virtue of perceived government intrusions.
- Only 35 percent of respondents believe they have control over their personal information and this result has steadily trended downward over seven years.
- Less than one-third (32 percent) of respondents admit they do not rely on privacy policies or trust seal programs when judging the privacy practices of organizations they deal with. When asked why, 60 percent believe these policies are too long or contain too much legalese.
- Forty-nine percent of respondents recall receiving one or more data breach notifications in the past 24 months. Seventy percent of these individuals said this notification caused a loss of trust in the privacy practices of the organization reporting the incident.
- Seventy-three percent of respondents believe the substantial security protections over their personal information is the most important privacy feature to advancing a trusted relationship with business or government organizations. Other important privacy features include: no data sharing without consent (59 percent), the ability to be forgotten (56 percent) and the option to revoke consent (55 percent).
- The number one privacy-related concern expressed by 61 percent of respondents is identity, closely followed by an increase in government surveillance (56 percent).
Read the full report here.