Almost two thirds of UK consumers believe organisations should take more responsibility for protecting their personal details online

Ditton Park, UK - 20 November 2007

A new study unveiled today by CA, conducted by independent research consultancy YouGov, has shown that concerns over Identity Theft is changing online behaviour and reveals which types of organisations the public trust to protect their personal details.

A comparative study, conducted in 2006 and 2007, surveyed more than 2000 adults in Great Britain. The results indicate that UK consumers are more aware than ever that they are vulnerable to possible online attacks and are now placing the responsibility for identity theft in the hands of the organisations which require their personal information. A total of 70% of GB consumers admit Identity Theft is changing their online behaviour. In addition, almost two thirds (64%) of those surveyed, believe the organisations they interact with should take more responsibility than they currently do to protect their personal data.

In total, 84% of respondents indicated that their ‘trust’ of how an organisation protected their personal details dictated who they interacted with most online. When asked who they trust, banks came top with 60% of the vote – down from 70% in the 2006 survey. Credit card companies ranked second with 40% which is also down from 52% in 2006. With a similar result to last year, Government is trusted by only 25% (23% in 2006) and online retailers by only 19% (21% in 2006). Internet service providers are trusted the least at 8%, (11% in 2006) to protect their personal details online.

Trust, according to the survey, is based on a number of factors but leading the way is the reputation of the organisation (chosen by 71% of respondents), closely followed by security certifications displayed on website (chosen by 69% of respondents).

Simon Perry, Vice President, Security Strategy at CA, commented:

“This survey clearly shows that online Identity Theft remains a major concern for UK consumers. This is not surprising considering that more than 170,000 cases of Identity Theft have been reported in the past 18 months. Consumers still need to be convinced that rigorous steps are being taken to ensure their data is protected and that security is at the top of the agenda. The onus is clearly on organisations offering online services to improve the way they manage their customers’ personal details or risk damage to their reputation and loss of business.

Perry continues, “We also examined the level of demand among consumers for a new generation of federated online services. This is something which the banks, telcos, credit card companies, and Government are either providing to some extent today or are looking to introduce to the mainstream in the near future. The results showed that there is a strong level of appetite, with four in ten stating they are a good idea. However, for these potential revenue streams to be realised, consumer confidence in online security must increase from its current level.”

“To further combat online Identity Theft, an area which needs urgent attention is breach notification laws. In the USA, consumers are notified as soon as there has been a data breach relating to their personal details. This places an additional mandated obligation for organisations to not only do everything in their power to minimise online fraud, but also demonstrate transparency in their execution of their efforts. This requirement currently doesn’t exist in the UK.”

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