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Businesses are not protecting our data, say consumers

Only 12 percent of consumers feel safe

Only 12 percent of consumers believe organisations do enough to protect their data, according to ICM research.

ICM questioned 4,000 consumers in the UK, Germany and France and found that 76 percent would "likely" leave a business or service provider if it leaked some of their personal data.

The results emphasise the difficult position companies are in as the European Commission moves towards a mandatory data breach disclosure regime. Companies have been encouraged to put more preventative measures in place to tackle possible data leaks, instead of fire-fighting the fall-outs from breaches.

Earlier this month it was reported that only one in ten UK firms thought they were ready for the European Commission's proposed data protection directive.

However, despite consumer concerns around the security of their data, when choosing a business or service provider, says the ICM survey, consumers are still putting cost as a higher priority (64 percent) than the data security procedures (30 percent) of the organisation.

The research also revealed that while consumers are concerned about breaches, the majority only read through key parts of security clauses (36 percent) and a mere 19 percent read through all the security information provided. In addition, 13 percent do not read any security information at all.

Quentyn Taylor, director of information security at Canon Europe, which sponsored the survey, said: "If the planned EC reforms go ahead and mandatory breach disclosure is enforced we may see a greater increase in the number of data breaches reported, but there is a risk that consumers could start to become indifferent to what constitutes a serious breach."

Taylor said: "In effect the numbers of breach disclosure events could cause 'disclosure fatigue' which is as serious as no disclosure at all. The onus is on organisations to carry out risk assessments to highlight all potential vulnerabilities."

Recent Quocirca research found that a large number of high profile European data security breaches were document based. Quocirca said 70 percent of organisations had suffered a print security breach, but that only 42 percent had focused significantly on print security.

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