Most Americans (78 percent) are concerned or very concerned about protecting their personal data, which could impact the country’s ability to accurately contact trace during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey from Privitar has revealed.

According to the 2020 Consumer Trust and Data Privacy Report, released yesterday, 42 percent of consumers are saying they will not share sensitive data – such as name, email, location, and health information – with a business for any reason. Respondents were specifically asked about a willingness to share health information and only 27 percent said they would share health data for healthcare advancements and research. Even fewer (21 percent) said they would share data for contact tracing purposes.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of the trust relationship companies and governments need to build with consumers in an increasingly digital world,” Jason du Preez, CEO and co-founder of Privitar, said. “The results of the survey affirm the growing need for brands to focus on building and maintaining this trust, starting first and foremost with protecting customer data.”

One-third of respondents are most concerned with the possibility of a data breach, while 26 percent are worried about their information being shared with a third party. The report recommends ensuring consumer data protection to build trust, but nearly three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) expressed that there should be more Federal, state, and local government oversight of data protection.

“As more businesses utilize the cloud to enable data driven insights,” du Preez explained, “a firm commitment to data privacy will help to ensure long-term loyalty, consumer satisfaction and shareholder value.”

About one-third of respondents (31 percent) said that a brand’s commitment to protecting their data is most important when it comes to brand loyalty.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.