Angry Aussies demand more compensation for data breaches

Consumers are demanding more compensation for data breaches in the wake of a horror year for cybersecurity.

Almost one-third of Australians have been the victim of a data breach in the past year – with most left feeling angry and vulnerable as a result, according to research from Deloitte.

Victims want companies to take more responsibility for the breaches, and say they deserve more compensation than they are currently receiving.

The results are probably not a surprise given the Optus and Medibank hacks – the two biggest data breaches in Australian history – are still front of mind. Those breaches alone affected about 10 million individuals.

Kate Monckton, cyber risk advisory partner at Deloitte, says many Australians feel they’ve lost control and that securing their data is an almost impossible task.

“Every day, we jump online to stream, browse, subscribe, log in, connect, order, access, view, download, play and interact,” she says.

“And often that involves the personal information exchange for service access that is a key to 21st century living – from name and address to date of birth to bank or credit card details.

“Many of us are living with an underlying, ever-present fear that we’re losing the data control battle – we’re experiencing ‘data insecurity’. Confidence in businesses and brands to protect personal information has been eroded and trust is on shaky ground.” Ms Monckton adds.

Are older Australians too complacent?

The data also revealed a surprising trend among older Australians. Despite being the most worried about data breaches, Australians aged 50-plus were the least likely age group to actually take their business elsewhere when their personal information is compromised.

Deloitte found 45 per cent of under-35s have proactively left a provider after a data breach, compared to 26 per cent of those aged 50 and over.

“[Younger people] are actually taking matters into their own hands by being more open to changing providers in the event of a breach incident and are actively engaging in privacy-conscious behaviours, such as using encrypted communication apps, employing ad-blockers and managing privacy settings on social media platforms,” Ms Monckton says.

While businesses came under fire for their lacklustre digital security, more than half of survey respondents felt the government also needed to be doing more to protect Aussies against these types of intrusions.

“Governments, of course, need to be really active – by creating and enforcing policies that foster transparency and a secure digital environment that aligns with ­consumer expectations,” Ms Monckton says.

“And for businesses and brands, well, they have everything to gain by listening to consumers and their concerns.”

Has any of your data been compromised in a breach? What do you think the role of government should be here? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Big four banks caught up in law firm data breach

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.
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