With news of massive data breaches becoming almost a weekly occurrence, consumers are beginning to lose their patience with the custodians of their personal information.
Survey results from 2,000 consumers released last week by HyTrust, suggest that 51 percent of those polled would bolt from any business involved in a data breach that compromised personal information such as address, Social Security number or credit card details.
Suspicions have been growing among consumers that businesses aren't doing enough to protect the data they eagerly collect from their customers, Eric Chiu, president and founder of HyTrust, told TechNewsWorld.
"We're seeing repeats of the same sorts of attacks over and over," he said. "It means that in the retail world, everyone is playing kick the can. They're not addressing what needs to be addressed now and putting the consumer first."
The survey also revealed some harsh attitudes toward businesses involved in a data breach. Almost half of the respondents (45.6 percent) said companies should be considered "criminally negligent" the moment a breach occurs.
Attitudes on that front appear to be colored by age, though. Only 34 percent of 25-34 year olds were in favor of immediate blame, while 51 percent of respondents 65 and older wouldn't hesitate to lower the hammer on a company involved in a breach.
The same is true for consumers who vowed to vote with their feet against a company that suffered a breach. Three out of every five respondents (60.2 percent) in the 35-44 age bracket said they'd take their business elsewhere, compared to 51 percent overall.
A large majority of the consumers participating in the survey (80.3 percent) felt the officers of a company should be held accountable for a breach.
"Since the Target breach, there's been almost weekly breaches," Chiu said. "Consumers are tired of it. They feel that companies are not really paying attention."