Study Reports The Companies Trusted Most For Privacy

The Ponemon Institute puts out an annual survey asking anyone who wants to participate in their online survey who the companies are that they believe respect their customers most and do the best job of protecting their privacy.

This year over 7,000 participants took part in the survey. The study found American Express was ranked number one again for the second straight year.
Here are the companies in ranked order:
1. American Express (was 1st last year)
2. The Charles Schwab Corp. (was 12th last year)
3. IBM (was 8th last year)
4. AOL
5. Amazon
6. Johnson & Johnson
7. U.S. Postal Serice
8. E-Bay
9. Nationwide
9. Procter & Gamble
10. Google
11. ELoan
12. WebMD
13. Dell
14. Countrywide
15. USAA
15. Disney
16. Hewlett Packard (was 4th last year)
17. US Bank
18. Bank of America
19. Intuit (all brands)
20. Weight Watchers
The study results pointed out the inherent connection between privacy and trust. If trust is broken, through security incidents and privacy breaches, that trust will be very hard to get back, and customers will be lost. Losing customers is often much more damaging to the business than any associated penalties, fines or legal judgments.
As an example, Hewlett-Packard was ranked 4th last year. However, after a difficult year of scandals involving their board members and pretexting, they fell this year to 16th.
As the annual survey continues to be performed, it is being shown that a company can, after considerable work and effort, regain trust after a significant period of time.
However, organizations shouldn’t count on working hard following a breach to be the only part of their breach response plan; many organizations, particularly SMBs, will likely go out of business following a significant privacy breach and substantial loss of their customer base if they are not well prepared for how to respond. All the more reason to do everything reasonable to prevent a privacy breach from occurring in the first place.
Noticeably missing from the list are transportation companies, such as airlines; food service organizations, such as restaurants; retail organizations, such as toy companies; and nonprofit organizations.
Weight Watchers was an interesting top 20…indeed, I bet they do have a ton of personal information with which they’ve been entrusted!

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