Survey: Data breaches leading to lost trust

Recent hacks at stores like Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels are causing customers to grow distrustful of major businesses, according to a new survey.

The analysis should convince lawmakers of the need for the government to get more involved in data security, according to a top official at the National Consumers League, which released the data along with Javelin Strategy and Research.

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“I think that given the increasing scope and cost of consumer data breaches, it’s clear to us that a hands-off approach by the government is not working well enough,” John Breyault, National Consumers League vice president of public policy, said on Tuesday.

The study, which surveyed fraud victims in four U.S. cities, found that 59 percent of the victims said they had “significant decreased” trust in the shops. Only 10 percent of people whose Social Security numbers, credit card data or other personal information was stolen from a retailer said they thought the business could protect them from future fraud.

Additionally, only 28 percent of victims said that existing federal regulations were strong enough to protect their sensitive financial and health data.

“Consumers, they are suffering fraud,” said Al Pascual, the senior analyst of fraud and security at Javelin. “They are holding it against the businesses where these data breaches are occurring and they’re looking to our leaders in Washington to help affect some positive change.”

In response to the survey, Breyault said that Congress should pass new legislation to require stores to notify consumers after they get hacked, set federal data security standards and give regulators more power.

After the massive hack at Target late last year, which exposed information about as many as 110 million shoppers, multiple lawmakers jumped in with those types of bills. So far, however, none of those have crossed the finish line, and momentum seems to have largely stalled