Survey: Data Privacy Growing as Concern; Banks Seen as Trusted

In an era of frequent data breaches and growing concern over technology companies’ use of consumer data, nearly three-quarters of Americans said they are more concerned about their data privacy than they were a year before, according to a survey conducted by software company SAS. Sixty-four percent said they feel their data is less secure today than it was in years past.

In line with other survey findings, banking was one of the top industries trusted to protect personal data, with 46 percent saying they were “very confident” or “extremely confident” that banks are keeping their data secure. With the exception of health care, in which 47 percent agreed, most industries saw much lower trust figures, including telecommunications providers (20 percent very confident or extremely confident), retailers (18 percent) and social media (just 14 percent).

Two-thirds of respondents said the government should do more to protect data privacy, but a similar share also agreed that consumers are primarily responsible for the security of their own data. In that vein, two-thirds of respondents said they have taken steps to protect their data, including changing privacy settings, not accepting cookies, declining terms of service, deleting apps and deactivating social media accounts. Nearly four in 10 said they are using social media less because of data privacy concerns.