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Security or Quality…Why Can’t I Have Both?

A recent survey sponsored by SAI Global indicates that consumers value data protection over quality. According to the results, three quarters of the respondents said they would be willing to live with lesser quality products if it meant increased security.

Source: SAI Global Trust Report 2019

“GDPR, and a steady beat of high-profile data breaches, has shifted the way consumers think about their data and its value in our digital economy,” said Peter Granat, CEO at SAI Global. “The balance of power has tipped to consumers as reputations now hinge on trust and transparency credentials over cost.”

Our Take

Vendors face increasing scrutiny on multiple fronts:

  • Law makers at various levels are getting involved, albeit slowly in some cases; the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) recently celebrated its first anniversary, while other jurisdictions are beginning to evaluate the need for similar protections.
  • Data breaches and vendors playing fast and loose with their customers’ sensitive information have been dominating the headlines recently; lawsuits, settlements, and loss of reputation due to these actions cost companies millions of dollars.
  • SAI Global’s report indicates that consumers may be the next faction to attempt to influence corporate behavior.

The debate regarding consumer influence is an interesting one. On one hand, consumers have all of the power and can influence a company’s voluntary protection policies and procedures through their spending habits. On the other hand, this may not always be as easy as it appears. For consumers to have an impact, viable options must exist to test the underpinning conclusions of the survey results outlined above. Without options, the purchasing decision becomes binary – a purchase is made or not made – and binary decisions won’t change corporate behavior. For that to happen, market share needs to shift from the “traditional” vendor to the disruptor, with the disruptor being the one willing to provide greater protections to consumers’ sensitive data.


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