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Inside Privacy Updates on Developments in Global Privacy & Data Security from Covington & Burling LLP

Making the Business Case for Privacy and Data Security

Posted in Advertising & Marketing, Data Security

Companies often view privacy and data security as legal or compliance issues, but a number of recent surveys show that there is also a business case for building privacy and data security into products and services.  For example: 

  • According to TRUSTe, 88% of U.S. adults report that they avoid doing business with companies that do not protect users’ privacy online.  
  • In a Forrester survey of 37,000 U.S. and Canadian online adults, 44% said that they had not completed an online transaction because of something they read in a privacy policy. 
  • A recent Edelman survey found that almost half (48%) of adults report that data security is one of the top three factors they consider when purchasing smartphones.  Data security is important for more people than the phone’s style, design, warranty, or size. 
  • Marketers still have a ways to go in convincing consumers about the benefits of targeted advertising.  According to a Pew Research Center survey, only 28% of American Internet users say that they are okay with targeted advertising because it means they see advertisements and get information about things they are interested in.  Over two-thirds (68%) disapprove of the practice because they do not like having their online behavior tracked and analyzed.

Dr. Ann Cavoukian and other proponents of privacy by design have long advocated that “Privacy is good for business.”  The surveys above provide further evidence that privacy and data security protections can result in commercial gains, enhanced ROI, and competitive advantage.