Indian businesses not ready to meet customer data privacy expectations

Tags: Companies
Most companies lack transparency about what they do with employee and customer information, says a global survey jointly conducted by Edelman and the Ponemon Institute. Moreover, most Indian organisations do not consider protection of personal information as a priority and a serious factor that could damage their reputation.

The study was conducted with over 6,400 corporate privacy and security executives. The analysis spans 29 countries and includes 455 respondents from India. More than one in three respondents (37 per cent) in India believe companies aren’t transparent about what they do with employee and customer information. This figure stands at 57 per cent globally.

“The Edelman Privacy Risk Index findings shine a light on the worrying void between business’ privacy practices and consumer expectations about how their personal data is handled. From a communications and stakeholder engagement point of view, what is most concerning is the lack of clarity and transparency about these practices,” says Pete Pedersen, global chair, technology practice of Edelman.

Over 40 per cent respondents in India (57 per cent globally) think their organization does not consider privacy and protection of personal information to be a priority and 33 per cent (53 percent globally) believe that organisations disregard data breach as a threat to reputation or financial position. On the other hand, 43 per cent respondents believe that employees neither understand the importance of data privacy nor are aware how to protect sensitive information. While 31 per cent respondents believe that organisations do not have ample resources to protect employee or customer information, 38 per cent also believe that organisations neither have the expertise nor the technology to protect personal information.

Online companies or organisations interacting with consumers through the internet are in more danger. According to the Edelman DSP Group study, three quarters of consumers would stop using an online shop if information was accessed without permission. Moreover, less than half of consumers trust healthcare organisations to protect information.

“Companies increasingly understand that using data effectively will lead to innovation, better consumer services and smarter marketing. But all of these new uses of personal information also create risks that if mishandled could undermine consumer trust and lead to restrictive regulation,” says Jules Polonetsky, director and co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum. “Senior business leaders need to assess their company privacy risk and avoid becoming a high profile example of the damage that can result from misuse or loss of consumer data.”


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