Research shows personal data privacy is hot-button issue in America,
where distrust runs high
SUNRISE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in the
European Union a year ago this month. GDPR, which gives EU citizens more
control over their personal data by mandating how businesses must handle
that information, has attracted great interest around the world. In
addition, it has inspired government officials elsewhere in the world to
develop laws addressing consumer data privacy concerns.
In recognition of GDPR’s first anniversary, nCipher Security, the
provider of trust, integrity and control for business-critical
information and applications, conducted a survey to gauge American
awareness of and sentiment about data privacy and security laws and
The results illustrate that data privacy has become a hot-button issue
for Americans. It points to a healthy distrust among Americans about
data sharing. And it offers a look at how Americans view data privacy
responsibility and what they know about data protection regulations.
Many Americans indicate data protection is key to their survival
The nCipher survey data indicates that protecting personal information
has become of paramount importance for many Americans. More than half
(52%) of Americans said data privacy is important to them. Forty-one
percent said protecting their personal information is their top concern.
Thirty-two percent said safeguarding their personal data is as important
to them as their own physical protection. Six percent said only
protecting their family is more important than protecting their personal
People distrust how organizations handle their data
There’s a healthy amount of distrust among Americans today about how
organizations are using their personal information.
Sixty-four percent said they don’t feel organizations are completely
transparent with how they use their customers’ personal data. Almost
half (49%) said they don’t trust companies to keep their private data
secure. That may explain why 44% said they don’t want to share their
personal data under any circumstances.
The nCipher research also revealed that:
Only 4% of the respondents trust organizations to do what they say
they’ll do when it comes to not sharing their personal data
28% said nothing makes them trust that their personal data will not be
61% of Americans are not OK with some organizations sharing their
Nearly half of Americans have no idea what GDPR is about
Although personal data protection is clearly important to many
Americans, 41% were unable to discern what GDPR stands for, even when
provided with General Data Protection Regulation as one of the answers.
That’s despite the fact that GDPR – which is widely considered a step in
the right direction in the battle to prevent data misuse – has been in
the news recently, with French regulators’ move to fine Google $57
million for GDPR non-compliance grabbing headlines.
Many look to the government to address personal data privacy
When asked whether the U.S. should adopt personal data privacy laws
similar to those in Europe, 33% said no. But that’s only a third. And
the fact that they don’t want European-style legislation doesn’t mean
they’re against data privacy laws entirely.
In fact, 44% of Republicans said the U.S. should create laws that fit
American needs. Twenty-seven percent of Democrats surveyed said they
feel the same way. The largest group (44%) of Americans said the federal
government should be in charge of data privacy. About a third (32%) said
the states should be in charge of data privacy regulations.
Broader data security requirements take hold at the state level
Many states are answering the call. Thirty-one U.S. states have
established laws regulating the secure destruction or disposal of
personal information, with at least a dozen states imposing broader data
California is a pioneer on this front. Legislators there have passed the
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which takes effect January 2020.
While this major initiative is only months away, there is a great need
for education both nationally and within California, as about half (49%)
of Americans nationwide admitted they don’t know what CCPA is, based on
nCipher’s study. Even among those who have heard of CCPA, there is a lot
of confusion. Only 12% correctly said CCPA makes nationwide
organizations protect California residents’ personal data.
Within California, the results look somewhat better. Forty-nine percent
of Californians chose CCPA’s correct definition, although 42% of
Californians admitted they don’t know what CCPA is.
Cindy Provin, chief executive officer at nCipher Security says:
mandates such as GDPR and the CCPA, which are fundamentally designed to
discourage the misuse of data, give consumers the reassurances they
want. There’s an unprecedented awareness of the importance of data
security, with business customers and consumers alike demanding trust,
integrity and control when it comes to how companies manage their data.
The best defense is a proactive one, and the right mix of data security
tools and internal education provides a firm foundation. Encryption,
digital signing and key generation are critical components of any data
security strategy, as properly encrypted data is useless to hackers even
if a breach does occur.”
About nCipher Security
Today’s fast-moving digital environment enhances customer satisfaction,
gives competitive advantage and improves operational efficiency. It also
multiplies the security risks. nCipher Security, a leader in the
general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) market, empowers
world-leading organizations by delivering trust, integrity and control
to their business-critical information and applications. Our
cryptographic solutions secure emerging technologies – such as cloud,
IoT, blockchain, and digital payments – and help meet new compliance
mandates, using the same proven technology that global organizations
depend on today to protect against threats to their sensitive data,
network communications and enterprise infrastructure. We deliver trust
for your business-critical applications, ensuring the integrity of your
data and putting you in complete control – today, tomorrow and at all
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