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Warning to companies: 78% want private data protected

Warning to companies: 78% want private data protected

New Zealanders overwhelmingly oppose organisations they do business with handing over their personal information to government officials or the police without a court order.

They’re even more likely to be upset if an organisation hands over such information without telling them it’s happening, a nationwide HorizonPoll finds.

Respondents to the Horizon Research survey in November were asked what they thought banks and other organisations which hold private information should do when approached by government agencies to give them the information. Respondents were able to select multiple answers.

Respondents were told: “Recently it was reported that Westpac Bank passed details of a customer's accounts and other information to the police, without firstly asking the police to produce a court order to do so. The customer was not informed about this or about what has been passed to the police.”

The survey finds:

2% felt that organisations should provide the information without question

(i.e. without a court order) and did not need to advise the person whose information it was.

A nett 10% overall felt an organisation could provide information without question (this includes the 2% above).

78% thought that a court order should be required by the organisation

before it released any information. Most of these people (88% of the 78%) thought the person whose information it was should be advised of the request by the organisation involved.

84% thought the person whose information was involved should be advised by the organisation. The majority of these people (81% of the 84%) thought a court order should be required by the organisation.

40% thought details of what was provided should be advised by the organisation.

Consequences

Respondents were asked if a company holding their private information were to pass it to a government agency, what they would do in three circumstances:

• If they provided the information on request to the agency without a court order;
• If they provided the information to the agency without telling you; and
• If they provided the information to the agency after receiving a court order and advised you.

Provision of information to an organisation without a court order or without telling the person whose information it was could potentially affect customer loyalty, with a majority saying they would stop doing business with the company.

Providing the information after receiving a court order and with advice to the customer does not have an effect on customer loyalty, with a majority saying they would stay with the company.

There is little variation between the customers of the major banks, although with an average of 68% feeling they would stop doing business with a company that provided information without a court order, there is clearly a potential impact on all banks. Note that ASB and BNZ customers were more likely than average to be unsure what they would do if information was provided without a warrant.

Based on responses to the survey, the percentages for those who would stop doing business with a company that provided information without a court order as shown in the table above represent the following volumes of people 18 years of age or over (18+).

• ANZ: 662,700
• ASB: 260,800
• BNZ: 215,800
• The Cooperative Bank: 102,100
• Kiwibank: 371,700
• TSB Bank 58,900
• Westpac: 382,100
• Credit Unions: 35,700

Not telling a customer about a request for private information has a potentially greater impact, with 76% saying they would stop doing business with the company that supplied the information. Note that ASB appear to be less potentially impacted by this than other banks.

Based on responses to the survey, the percentages for those who would stop doing business with a company that provided information without telling the person who information it was, as shown in the table above, represent the following volumes of people 18 years of age or over (18+).

• ANZ: 712,400
• ASB: 300,300
• BNZ: 272,800
• The Cooperative Bank: 103,600
• Kiwibank: 404,300
• TSB Bank 56,300
• Westpac: 404,200
• Credit Unions: 36,400
National Business Review coverage of this survey, including a NBR Radio interview on the implications for businesses, is here.

Sample
2,075 members of the HorizonPoll National Panel, representing the New Zealand population 18+, responded to the survey between 17 and 30 November 2015.

The sample is weighted to match population profiles at the 2013 Census on age, gender, ethnicity, education, personal income and employment and has a maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level of ±2.2% overall.

Respondent comments
All comments from respondents are captured as entered by respondents and are available from the Horizon Research system.

Contact
For a free copy of the top line results report or for more information about this survey or additional analysis, please contact Grant McInman on 021 076 2040, email gmcinman@horizonresearch.co.nz.

These results are online at: http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/422/warning-to-c

ENDS

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