Survey: People fear loss of personal data more than having their cars stolen
In an earlier survey, people valued their data at only $250.
A survey conducted last year by LoopMe asked consumers to estimate how much their personal data was worth. US respondents said, on average, $244, and UK respondents said £254.58 ($340). By contrast, a “cybersecurity survey” from Radware earlier this year found consumers placing a much higher value on their personal data.
It’s not an “apples to apples” comparison, which I’ll explain, but the contrast is striking. The Radware survey, conducted among just over 3,000 US adults in May of this year, found that consumers valued their data above all other personal possessions on a list of choices.
The question asked was, “Which of the following items would concern you the most if stolen?”
In other words, people were more concerned about their data being stolen than their wallets or cars. The list of “personal data” items included Social Security number, banking information, medical records, credit cards, driver’s license and a couple of others. Social Security number was the biggest concern for 54 percent of respondents, followed by banking records.
This probably reflects the public’s uncertainty or fear of what might happen from identity theft and the fallout. In the LoopMe survey, consumers were asked a different question in a different context: “What financial value would you put on your anonymous data per year?”
The question wasn’t “What do you fear losing most?” but “What do you think your personal data is worth?” — presumably to brands, retailers and marketers. But the gulf between the two sets of survey results probably reflects the various data scandals of the past six months and increasing consumer awareness of the risks they face and declining trust in the digital world.