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Corporate data responsibility: Bridging the consumer trust gap

As businesses collect more personal data, consumer concerns are rising. Learn how businesses can take action to reclaim consumer trust.

Businesses have a voracious appetite for consumer data—it helps them feed predictive analytics, personalize marketing campaigns, and introduce/improve products and services. But how do consumers feel about companies using their data and what are their expectations of privacy?

According to a KPMG survey of 2,000 U.S. adults and 250 business leaders, over the past year 70% of companies increased their collection of personal consumer data. Meanwhile, consumers have become increasingly concerned about how their data is being used. It’s clear that businesses need to take action now to bridge the chasm between their activities and consumer expectations—or risk losing access to the data they need for growth.

Key findings


Business leaders

  • 70% say their company increased collection of consumer personal data over the last year
  • 62% say their company should do more to strengthen existing data protection measures
  • 33% say consumers should be concerned about how their personal data is used by their company


U.S. General Population

  • 86% say data privacy is a growing concern for them
  • 68% are concerned about the level of data being collected by businesses
  • 40% don’t trust companies to ethically use their data
  • 30% aren’t willing to share their personal data for any reason

When consumers opt in to share their data, it can indicate they are interested in a deeper level of engagement with a business, and businesses shouldn’t miss these opportunites to engage. Businesses can use these opportunities to establish more productive and mutually-beneficial relationships with their customers and prospects.

Orson Lucas

Principal, Advisory, US Privacy Services Leader

The U.S. general population responds more favorably when told exactly how their data will be used, although many aren’t sure which use cases are acceptable.*
*Based on an online survey among a nationally representative audience of 2,000 U.S. adults, ages 18+, including a natural fallout of 974 U.S. based workers, fielded from April 30, 2021, to May 6, 2021.

Build trust in your organization’s data practices

Given the critical and growing importance of consumer data, it makes sense for businesses to develop policies and practices that address consumer concerns around how their data is being collected, used and protected, and to be forthright and empathetic in developing and sharing those policies and practices. By taking the right approach to data—by becoming more transparent and giving consumers more control—businesses have an opportunity to build consumer trust and solidify access to this critical resource.

Businesses have an opportunity to improve the way consumers think about the use of personal data by:

✓  Being more transparent about how consumer data will be used

  Giving consumers more direct control over their personal data

  Making data anonymous to whatever extent possible

  Taking the lead in establishing corporate data responsibility

Dive into our thinking:

Corporate data responsibility: Bridging the consumer trust gap

As consumer concerns over personal data collection rise, companies should consider placing data protection at the forefront and build consumer trust.

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