Ground Labs Research Reveals 71% of American Consumers are Unaware of Data Protection Laws

Google Survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers uncovers data privacy disconnect, a call to action for businesses

With data breaches on the rise along with consumer demand for privacy and control over their own data, governments have in turn adopted new data protection regulations — and businesses are feeling the pressure. Now, new consumer research from Ground Labs uncovers a disconnect between what consumers know, what they want, and what businesses are providing.

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To better understand consumers’ experience with and sentiment toward data privacy and security, Ground Labs surveyed 1,000 U.S. respondents of all ages and genders through the Google Surveys Publisher Network during the months of August and September 2021.

The survey reveals that despite the growing demand for data privacy and security, U.S. consumers still lack familiarity with data protection best practices. Key findings include:

  • 71% of respondents are unaware of consumer data protection laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
  • Yet, at the same time, 39% of respondents say they would like to see increased government regulations around data privacy as organizations collect and use an increasing amount of consumer data.
  • 23% have had their personal information or data compromised in a data breach and proceeded to use/work with the company as usual.
  • 71% of respondents either never or only occasionally read data sharing disclaimers to find out why their personal data is being collected and what it will be used for.
  • 38% of respondents never provide their personal data and 40% are unlikely to provide it, even if an organization requests it.
  •  68% of respondents believe data protection is a shared responsibility between the customer and the organization collecting personal information on its users.

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According to global management consulting firm McKinsey, 87% of consumers would not do business with a company if they had concerns about its security practices, and 71% said they would stop doing business with a company if it gave away their sensitive data without permission. Considering the recent incline of data breaches — with a 141% increase in compromised records due to breaches in 2020 compared to 2019 — the stakes are high for businesses when it comes to remaining compliant, keeping personal information safe and secure, and ultimately, cultivating customer trust.

“Compromised personal information has a major impact on an organization’s bottom line — and the fact is, most companies do not have complete visibility into all the personal data they collect to properly address the associated compliance requirements,” said Stephen Cavey, co-founder and chief evangelist at Ground Labs. “These new findings underscore the need for businesses to make a strong commitment to their customers when it comes to keeping their data safe, protected, and private, in order to inspire customer trust. As companies continue to navigate the evolving data compliance landscape, they should not only prioritize data privacy, but use it as a competitive advantage rather than consider it a box-ticking exercise.”

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