12 September 2018

  |  CBI Press Team


Almost 9 out of 10 people say businesses that protect their data will win their custom

84% of consumers say a business with a good data security history and track record of protecting personal information, is the key characteristic they look for when deciding who to buy from

Almost 9 out of 10 people say businesses that protect their data will win their custom

  • 54% of consumers believe companies may have misused their data in the past
  • 73% of consumers want to understand more about how their data is used

New research from the CBI shows in no uncertain terms that the way a company treats personal data is a top concern for potential customers and business partners. Almost 9 out of 10 people identify good data security and the protection of personal information as the key characteristic they look for when deciding where to spend their money. The CBI argues that a commitment to data privacy is a fundamental part of a business’s licence to operate in the modern economy.

The survey is launched at today’s (Wednesday) annual CBI Cyber Security conference. It sets out that as the pace of digital change accelerates, the issues of trust, privacy and innovation are increasingly in the spotlight. There remains much for the business community to do in winning the trust of their consumers. As such, the CBI urges firms to do more in their engagement with consumers over personal data. Top tips for firms include:

  • Go beyond your legal requirements of a privacy policy – people identified greater transparency of how data is used (50%) and making it easier to delete data shared (48%) as key actions for firms to take
  • Tell your customers about their data rights – over half of consumers (54%) saying they are not aware of what rights they have when sharing data
  • Always check you’re using personal data in the way a consumer expects – 49% of respondents said they did not believe businesses have their best interests at heart when using their personal data.

Speaking at the conference, Matthew Fell, CBI UK Chief Policy Director, will say:

“As businesses increasingly move from the physical to the digital, cyber security has become central to a company’s existence. Just ask anyone who has picked up a newspaper – cyber-attacks are a very real threat to business.

“But the second, and more unexpected reason is that cybersecurity has a direct impact on consumer trust.  Almost 90% of consumers see data security as the key characteristic they look for in a business, when thinking about where to spend their pay-cheque.

“Responsible data use is the number one reason a customer will stay loyal to your business. And irresponsible data use is the main motive for looking elsewhere. It’s absolutely vital. And it means having a good cyber security strategy will make your business more competitive.

“Businesses must also go beyond merely having a privacy policy. When it comes to data protection every person in this room has a privacy policy. But firms need to go further. Beyond legalistic jargon. To a point where customers have a clear roadmap of how their data is collected, used, shared, or erased.

“This seems like a lot. Possibly like a level of transparency that could put people off. But the facts tell us otherwise. Transparency actually tops the list of factors that make customers more comfortable sharing their data. More so than any other reputational issue.

“Your customers care. People need confidence in the way technology is getting smarter and solving problems. And this means engaging customers does matter for your bottom line.”