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    Direct Marketing News: Data privacy: Not a priority for marketers?

    Direct Marketing News reports on a new study from Edelman and the Ponemon Institute concerning individuals’ data privacy and marketers:

    Marketers by and large remain cavalier about privacy issues, even while consumers express heightened concern and threaten to cut ties with companies that share their sensitive information, says a new study from Edelman.

    Sixty percent of 6,400 executives surveyed in 20 countries said their companies don’t consider privacy a priority, and more than half don’t believe that a data breach would adversely affect their corporate reputations, according the Edelman Privacy Risk Index, which was produced in concert with The Ponemon Institute. It might well affect their businesses, however. Eight in 10 consumers would leave banking institutions that accessed their personal information without permission, Edelman reports, and 70% would dump health care providers that did so. [...]

    Nearly two thirds of companies don’t have the expertise or technology to protect personal information, according to survey respondents, and half lack the resources to put the processes in place. What’s more, 61% say their customer service operations are not quick to respond to privacy complaints.

    The price of negligence is costlier for some concerns. Companies that collect large amounts of health and financial data from consumers have higher risk profiles than,say, manufacturing companies that collect demographic data. [...]

    The research suggests some clear policy imperatives to marketers, say Edelman executives, chief among them increasing transparency of what they do with customer data, responding more quickly to complaints, and devoting suitable resources to protecting customer data.

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