Deloitte: Consumer privacy in retail is next frontier in data regulations

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 308 views 

High-profile data breaches and privacy infractions have made consumers more aware that their data is at risk, according to new national survey that shows that one in every three Americans has been exposed to data compromise.

From 2016 to 2018, the Deloitte’s U.S. Consumer Data Privacy Survey shows that the volume of breached records in the United States grew twelve-fold. Nearly half of consumers feel that they have little to no control over their personal data. The vast majority believe that they should be able to opt out of the sale of their personal data, but many consumers do not even realize the abundance of personal data that is accessible. Not being able to see or control how their personal data is used can leave consumers feeling helpless, the survey states.

But all is not lost. Nearly three in four consumers are willing to share personal data if they receive things like better pricing, special discounts, or exclusive offers. Also, when consumers trust a retailer and are satisfied with their privacy policies, consumers are more likely to be open or neutral about sharing personal data (73%) compared to those who are dissatisfied or unaware (57%).

Gaining consumer trust may be hard for some retailers. Only 5% of consumers place the retail industry at the top in ensuring data privacy, compared to 63% for banking. Nearly two-thirds of consumers say retailers, not the government or tech vendors, are responsible for data security.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), launched in May 2018, was an early warning to many U.S. retailers. Now similar privacy initiatives, incremental to traditional cybersecurity laws, are coming to our shores. The lack of a single, federal mandate has placed the onus on states to craft their own privacy laws. This has the potential to create a patchwork of legislation that could be confusing and complex to manage, the report stated.

The report also highlighted privacy legislation in all 50 states. Arkansas is among half of the states without any dedicated consumer or data privacy legislation on the books, the survey noted. To view the Deloitte report, click here.