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Risk

Study: Users Are Mad About Breaches, And They're Not Going To Take It Anymore

More than 75 percent say they would close their accounts in the event of a breach; more than half say they would take legal action

Consumers are getting angry about the breaches of the companies they buy from, and they're no longer going to take it lying down, according to a study published today.

According to the biannual Unisys Security Index, which surveys 1,000 consumers on their attitudes about online security, there is a growing feeling of animosity toward companies that lose customer data.

Nearly 90 percent of all survey respondents said they would take some sort of action in the event of a data breach. While 87 percent said they would simply change their passwords, most said they would take actions with more serious commercial implications, such as closing their accounts (76 percent) or taking legal action (53 percent).

Nearly 65 percent of survey respondents said they’d publicly expose a company that allows a breach.

The Unisys study also revealed that more than half of surveyed Americans are willing to provide biometric data to secure their identities. This includes a willingness to provide biometric data at security checkpoints at airports (59.6 percent), when conducting financial transactions with banking institutions (56.9 percent), and when receiving government benefits or other services (53.0 percent).

"Only 21.3 percent were willing to give their biometric data to social media sites, suggesting a perception that either these entities were less careful with their data, or that the risk was simply not worth the reward," the study says.

The Unisys Security Index found similar responses in 11 other countries where the survey was performed. For example, 82 percent of citizens surveyed in the United Kingdom said they would close their accounts with an organization responsible for a breach of their private data. In Mexico, 62 percent said they would publicly expose the issue, and 86 percent of Brazilians surveyed said they would take legal action.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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