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Friday, 26th February 2010

Just Released: Ponemon Institute’s Annual "Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study"

From the Announcement:

In a year marred by highly publicized privacy mistakes and missteps, American Express quietly retained its position atop the list of brands most trusted by U.S. consumers, according to the Ponemon Institute’s annual Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study. It is the fifth consecutive year that American Express earned the Most Trusted for Privacy distinction. IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett Packard, and E-Bay rounded out the five top-rated companies.

The rankings were derived from responses given by 6,627 U.S. adults that included more than 38,000 individual company ratings, 229 of which were mentioned at least twenty times. Among the brands that made the top twenty were four not listed in the previous study, including Google, Weight Watchers, Walmart, and AT&T. Of the companies listed last year, Facebook, AOL, and eLoan did not make the 2010 list.

“2009 was a tumultuous year for privacy, as illustrated by Facebook’s drop out of the top twenty in a year when they found themselves at the center of a very public debate over the evolution of their privacy policies and settings,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute.

2010 Most Trusted Companies for Privacy (Top 20)

1 American Express (1)
2 IBM (3)
3 Johnson & Johnson (5)
4 Hewlett Packard (6)
5 E-bay (2)
6 U.S. Postal Service (6)
7 Procter & Gamble (7)
8 Amazon (4)
8 Nationwide (9)
9 USAA (11)
10 WebMD (13)
11 Intuit (12)
12 Apple (8)
12 Disney (16)
13 Google (not in top 20)
14 Verizon (17)
15 US Bank (19)
15 Charles Schwab (10)
16 Weight Watchers (not in top 20)
17 Yahoo! (14)
18 FedEx (18)
19 Walmart (not in top 20)
20 AT&T (not in top 20)
20 Dell (20)

Among the survey’s significant findings:

+ Consumers feel they are losing control of personal information. Only 41 percent of consumers feel they have control over their personal information, down from 45 last year and an overall drop from 56 percent in 2006.

+ Identity theft is top of mind. Fifty-nine percent of consumers said fear of identity theft was a major factor in brand trust diminishment, and 50 percent said notice of a data breach was a factor. Other significant threats to brand trust were abuse of civil liberties and annoying “background chatter” in public venues.

+ Privacy “features” contributed to brand trust. Substantial security protections were identified as a trust asset by 60 percent of consumers, while 53 percent said accurate data collection and use was a trust asset. Other significant positive factors were limits on the collection of personal information and online anonymity.

Source: Ponemon Institute
Hat Tip: EPIC


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