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Users lack confidence in retailers data protection skills

Simon Quicke

Despite the need for large retailers to adhere to credit card data protection requirements the public doesn't have the confidence that high-street stores are capable of looking after their information.

Even with PCI kicking in for the largest retailers last September users continue to demonstrate a lack of confidence in the ability of stores to look after their data.

The extent of the problem has been highlighted in a YouGov survey carried out on behalf of Websense which quizzed the public on who they believed could keep their data secure.

At the bottom of the list, with just 14% were social media sites, then mobile phone providers with 26% but after that only 32% of people were fairly confident that retailers could protect their data.

The medical profession was the most trustworthy, followed by banks and central government but even online retailers could only muster 37% indicating that there is an ongoing issue for merchants in reassuring the public they can look after data.

Andy Philpott, regional vice president, UK and Ireland at Websense, said that the public was all too aware of the dangers of data loss.

"Whilst public perception of data protection appears low, with only two out of the nine organisations ranking above a 50% confidence level, this doesn't have to be the case.  We would urge all organisations to ensure they're truly protecting their confidential data - which includes the personal information of the British public," he said.

Alex Teh, commercial director at Vigil Software, said that there had not been any fines issued in the UK for failure to meet the PCI requirements and as a result the public were largely unaware of the compliance framework the high-street was working under.

He added that some retailers needed to do more because, "they are profiting from the British public but not protecting their data".

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