US Insights

WikiLeaks, Hackers and the Potential of Privacy

Andrew Hawn

Vice President

Brands 03.20.2017 / 16:00


Brands need to establish themselves as privacy protectors

The latest data dump from WikiLeaks had many wondering if their TVs are watching them. The CIA's ability to pry into everything from mobile operating system to smart TVs and cars probably doesn't come as much of a shock. However, it's yet another layer of worry for consumers and an opportunity for brands.

Research from Kantar Futures shows that consumers of almost every age care a great deal about the information they share, but they only somewhat understand how companies secure that personal information.

Yankelovich Privacy Ages


Yankelovich Privacy Caring


  • 54% of consumers care a lot about the privacy of the information they share with companies
  • 60% care a lot about the security of their information 
  • Only a little over 20% of consumers understand "a lot" about the security and privacy of the information that they share on the Internet with businesses

The Wikileaks revelations give brands and businesses an opening to seize an underserved position in the market: data defenders. There’s a high bar to achieving trust, however. Most Americans believe brands will sell out consumers’ interests if they’re not likely to be caught.

Yankelovich Biz Privacy Trust

As brands contemplate a potential role as a data guardian, they should consider these key points that will drive the way consumers understand security going forward:

  • Data collection is a privileged exchange in users' eyes. There is equity on both sides so brands need to clearly show the benefits of information sharing.
  • Consumers now know there is no silver bullet of security—and there likely never will be. Mitigating these issues by adhering to standards is an essential step particularly in the Internet of Things space. In fact, Consumer Reports is even proposing a new measure in their reviews to push device makers to adhere to an open standard for security of IOT devices
  • A personal privacy “margin call” is coming from consumers. Companies like Apple are making security and privacy a major part of their brand identity and devices positioning themselves up to reap the benefits.
  • As AI becomes the "new electricity," data privacy and tools for control will be the new battlefield for brands, hackers and consumers. It’s long past time to have a thoughtful, strategic AI strategy. 

Source: Kantar Futures

Editor's Notes

Source: Kantar Futures 2016 US Yankelovich Monitor

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