July 23, 2024


Technological development

Report: 33% of global consumers are data breach victims via hacked company-held personal data

Report: 33% of global consumers are data breach victims via hacked company-held personal data

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Thales’s “2022 Thales Consumer Digital Trust Index” revealed that consumer confidence in online organizations’ ability to protect their data is misaligned with reality. One in three consumers globally have already been victimized by a data breach of a company holding their personal data. 

The report sheds light on the latest global data breach trends and the severe impact they’ve had on consumer trust across industries, including consumers’ likelihood of continuing business with an organization post-incident.

Are consumers too trusting?

Today, organizations no longer ask themselves if a data breach will occur, but when. Yet despite organizations’ awareness of the current cybersecurity landscape, the findings highlight that this awareness is not necessarily transferring to consumers. While 33% of consumers globally have been a victim of a data breach, 82% of consumers continue to trust, to a certain degree, that online digital service providers will protect their personal data.

However, 82% of data breach victims saw a negative impact on their lives.


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Image source: Thales

Location can affect consumer trust. Breaches are experienced at various rates around the world. Yet consumers in countries with lower rates of breaches were not necessarily more trusting than those in countries with higher rates. The U.S. has one of the highest percentage of consumers who are data breach victims (48%). Yet consumer trust is higher in the U.S. (80%) than in regions that experience fewer breaches, such as Germany, Australia and the UK.

Consumers’ trust in the security of their data also varied by industry. The financial and healthcare sectors inspired the highest confidence (though still only 42% and 37% respectively), with media/entertainment and government receiving the lowest (12% and 14% respectively). 

Data breaches may not diminish trust among consumers, but they are impacting how consumers view their role in data protection. Victims are more likely to take additional precautions to protect personal data.

Breaches are also influencing what consumers expect of organizations, with 54% believing that companies should be forced to adopt mandatory data protection controls, such as encryption and two-factor authentication, following a data breach. More than one-fifth of consumers stopped using a company that experienced a data breach.


Over 21,000 adult consumers across 11 countries and five continents were surveyed in Thales’s 2022 Thales Consumer Digital Trust Index. The report was conducted by Opinium, and in partnership with the University of Warwick.

Read the full report from Thales.

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