What’s the point of trying to safeguard consumer data?

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Companies generally aren't spending enough money to protect customers' personal data, but many are spending a considerable sum nonetheless. Government fines for data privacy violations are laughable, and people largely don't seem to really care about their privacy anymore, so why do companies bother trying to protect personal data at all, asks Constantine von Hoffman at CIO magazine.

"The news is often filled with talk about the need for online privacy, but the complaints only come from a handful of people and groups. Here in the United States, it's the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), random academics, a handful of old hippies, some white-hat hackers and select others. There are also some government agencies, but who really pays attention to them?" von Hoffman writes.

Despite all the talk about the need for data privacy, companies don't seem to suffer serious financial harm because of consumer data breaches, as opposed to breaches of another business's data.

Nationwide Insurance recently confirmed a breach that occurred about two months ago, exposing data on 1.1 million people. But the breach and Nationwide's response to it won't have any impact on the company's earnings or its ability to get customers, von Hoffman predicts. Whether a company has the best data protection around or "barest of bones security," it doesn't have an impact on the way consumers go about making choices.

For more:
- see Constantine von Hoffman's post at CIO

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