Skip to main content
banner image
venafi logo

Venafi Study: How Much Do Global Consumers Worry About Private Data Protection?

Venafi Study: How Much Do Global Consumers Worry About Private Data Protection?

consumer worry about data privacy
September 24, 2019 | Emil Hanscom

As digital transformation continues, the sheer amount of data available on each individual grows exponentially and increases in value. Consumers understand the importance of data in modern society. They clearly want companies and governments to be held accountable and be transparent about what they are doing with data.

To better understand how US and European consumers view data protection and encryption backdoors, Venafi recently conducted a study into the topic. 4,127 consumers participated from France, Germany, the UK and the US.


According to the survey, consumers do not trust major cyber security talking points pushed by their governments. On one side, government officials in nearly every country believe the security risks inherent in government-mandated encryption backdoors are less important than giving law enforcement broad access to encrypted personal data. However, U.S. and European consumers overwhelmingly disagree with this type of prioritization. When asked if laws allowing governments to access encrypted personal and private data would make them safer from terrorists, nearly two-thirds (64%) did not agree.

The survey also found that on average, only 30% of consumers trust the government to protect their personal and private data. The UK were the most trusting of their government with data (40% and the US were the least trusting (24%).

Most interestingly, within the consumer respondents, there were significant differences across generations, with 25-34 year olds being the most trusting (40%) and 45-54 year olds the least trusting (21%).

Not surprisingly, even fewer consumers trust social media companies with their personal and private data. Two thirds (66%) of global consumers surveyed wouldn’t trust social media companies.

As in previous questions, the UK was the most trusting of social media organizations (31%) and German respondents were the least trusting at just 16%.

The results also showed another generational shift in opinions, as only 9% of 55-64 year olds trust social media companies to protect their data, compared to 35% of 25-34 year olds.

With so few respondents trusting social media companies with their data it makes sense that 80% of those surveyed believe social media organizations that store personal and private data should be subject to stricter privacy regulations. Across the board those aged 55-64 were most supportive of this (86%), compared to just 76% of those aged 26-24.

The UK was most in favour of increased privacy regulations for social media companies (87%), and Germany was the least (75%).

“It’s clear the public is nearly as skeptical of government claims around privacy and security as they are of the same claims coming from social media companies,” said Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi. “Since we've seen governments and social media firms mishandle private data, often egregiously, this shouldn't be surprising. Additionally, many politicians and law enforcement officials wish to use surveillance tools and backdoors that most consumers associate with authoritarian regimes, not democracies. If we can’t trust governments to protect sensitive personal data, it’s difficult to imagine how they will be able to regulate the private sector effectively.”

Do you believe the opinions of global consumers are warranted?



Related posts


Like this blog? We think you will love this.
Featured Blog

The (Nation) State of Cyber: 64% of Businesses Suspect They’ve Been Targeted or Impacted by Nation-State Attacks

82% believe geopolitics and cybersecurity are intrinsically linked

Read More
Subscribe to our Weekly Blog Updates!

Join thousands of other security professionals

Get top blogs delivered to your inbox every week

Subscribe Now

See Popular Tags

You might also like

TLS Machine Identity Management for Dummies

TLS Machine Identity Management for Dummies

Certificate-Related Outages Continue to Plague Organizations
White Paper

CIO Study: Certificate-Related Outages Continue to Plague Organizations

About the author

Emil Hanscom
Emil Hanscom

Emil is the Public Relations Manager at Venafi. Passionate about educating the global marketplace about infosec and machine-identity issues, they have consistently grown Venafi's global news coverage year over year.

Read Posts by Author
get-started-overlay close-overlay cross icon
get-started-overlay close-overlay cross icon
Venafi Risk assessment Form Image

Sign up for Venafi Cloud

Venafi Cloud manages and protects certificates

* Please fill in this field Please enter valid email address
* Please fill in this field Password must be
At least 8 characters long
At least one digit
At last one lowercase letter
At least one uppercase letter
At least one special character
* Please fill in this field
* Please fill in this field
* Please fill in this field

End User License Agreement needs to be viewed and accepted

Already have an account? Login Here

get-started-overlay close-overlay cross icon

How can we help you?

Thank you!

Venafi will reach out to you within 24 hours. If you need an immediate answer please use our chat to get a live person.

In the meantime, please explore more of our solutions

Explore Solutions

learn more

Email Us a Question

learn more

Chat With Us

learn more