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Most NZers Will Stop Dealing with Personal Data Compromisers

New Zealanders Say They Will Stop Dealing with Organisations if Personal Data is Compromised – Unisys Security Index Finds

8 in 10 Kiwis would close accounts with organisations where privacy breaches occurred; many say they would take legal action or publically expose the issue

Auckland, 8 November, 2011 – Eighty percent of Kiwis surveyed in the latest Unisys Security Index™ say they would cease any dealings with businesses and other organisations if they became aware that their personal information had been accessed by unauthorised people.

The latest Unisys Security Index, conducted nationally by Consumerlink, also found that many New Zealanders would consider a range of other responses to a data breach, with 48 percent saying that they would publically expose the issue and 36 percent saying they would take legal action.

“New Zealanders are telling us that unauthorised access to their personal information will be viewed as a fundamental breach of trust with significant consequences,” said Brett Hodgson, Managing Director, Unisys New Zealand. “These findings are a warning to any organisation holding personal data that customers will walk away if they become aware that their private information has been accessed by unauthorised people – whether accidently or as part of a malicious attack. Data breaches can have a direct impact on the bottom line.”

Of respondents in the 12 countries surveyed in the global research study, those in New Zealand were among the most likely to say they will stop dealing with an organisation responsible for a data breach. Only 26 percent of New Zealanders surveyed said that they would continue dealing in any manner, online or otherwise, with an organisation responsible for a breach of their personal data.

By contrast, almost half of Kiwis surveyed say they would publically expose a data breach if it happened – making them the least likely of the 12 countries surveyed to take this action. Kiwis are also one of the least likely of the 12 countries surveyed to say they will take legal action in the event of a data breach.

“Compared to other countries, Kiwis prefer to let their actions do their talking and will simply stop dealing with an organisations if they become aware of a data breach. Even so, nearly half of New Zealand respondents say they would go public and one in three say they would take legal action. That would damage organisations’ reputations and further erode customer trust and confidence,” Mr Hodgson explained. “This is especially interesting given there is no formal data breach notification requirement in New Zealand – either mandated by the government or volunteered by industry.”

The Unisys survey also found that New Zealanders were prepared to take action to reduce their vulnerability following a data breach, with 91 percent of respondents saying they would change passwords on the organisation’s website and any others that might be affected – one of the highest results globally.

Percentage of New Zealanders who said they would take the following action if they became aware that personal information that was being held by an organisation they dealt with had been accessed by an unauthorised person:
80% Stop dealing with that organisation, such as closing your account
48% Publically expose the issue
36% Take legal action
26% Continue dealing with the organisation but not online
91% Change your passwords on that organisation’s website and any other sites you are concerned about

“Businesses and government agencies need to build in adequate data protection as part of their business strategies. They need to conduct a full risk assessment that quantifies their threats, vulnerabilities and consequences – and then create a prioritised, actionable plan to mitigate these risks,” said Mr Hodgson.

ENDS

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