A new online survey of 10,000 consumers, conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of IBM, shows that 78 percent of U.S. respondents say a company’s ability to keep their data private is “extremely important” and only 20 percent “completely trust” organizations they interact with to maintain the privacy of their data.

The poll would underscore the public’s view of the obligation that organizations have to handle data responsibly and protect it from hackers.

“Increasingly, we are seeing companies around the world trying to balance providing personalized services to consumers, while maintaining privacy,” said John Kelly, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Solutions, IBM. “Getting this right requires companies working closely with each other and, importantly, with governments, to ensure the right protections are in place.”


The online survey of 10,000 consumers found that:

  • 75 percent will not buy a product from a company – no matter how great the products are – if they don’t trust the company to protect their data;
  • 73 percent think businesses are focused on profits over addressing consumers’ security needs;
  • 73 percent indicated it is extremely important that companies quickly take proper actions to stop a data breach; and
  • 60 percent are more concerned about cybersecurity than a potential war.

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of IBM between March 20-26th, 2018, among 8,461 adults ages 18+ across 7 countries: the US (n=2126), UK (n=1032), Germany (n=1020), Brazil (n=1143), China (n=1101), India (1013), and United Arab Emirates (n=1026).

US Expanded Look

A small set of questions were added to the global design in the U.S. only. This research was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of IBM from March 27-29, 2018 among 2,039 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

For information on IBM’s data responsibility practices, visit https://www.ibm.com/blogs/policy/dataresponsibility-at-ibm.