Canadian Underwriter

90% of global consumer product companies have experienced data breach, almost half not complying with regulations: Capgemini report

July 14, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Nine in ten global consumer product (CP) companies have faced a data breach and nearly one in two do not company with industry regulations, research from Gapgemini has found.

The consulting, technology and outsourcing services firm conducted a global survey of 300 managerial executives across 86 companies in the consumer goods industry. Ten per cent of respondents were from Canada and 28% were from the United States, and included professionals from marketing/product development, sales and trade marketing, and supply chain and manufacturing.

The report found that 46% of CP company executives said that their company lacks robust policies for ensuring data privacy, 43% of respondents do not have adequate consumer data, 40% lack the skills necessary for generating actionable insights and 48% have not updated their talent development practices related to generating consumer insights. What’s more, “consumer insights benefits could go up in smoke if data privacy and security issues are not addressed,” according to the report, titled Consumer Insights: Finding and Guarding the Treasure Trove and released on Tuesday.

The report warned that “the hard work of consumer insights could easily be undone if due attention is not paid to the security and privacy of consumer data.” Consider that in April, the European Union adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is set to come into force in May 2018. “In fact, our analysis shows that hypothetically, if GDPR were to be implemented today, the global CP industry could face penalties of up to US$323 billion, in a worst case scenario.”

Capgemini’s survey found that only 51% of consumer product firms provide customers with the option to control the data they have collected about them, and only 57% empower consumers to access or view the data collected from them. Surprisingly, of the 90% of companies that experienced data security breaches, almost 88% of “front-runners” and 100% of “slow-starters” admitted to having experienced breaches of their consumer’s data.

“Getting consumer insights right is not an impossible task, but it requires a structured approach,” the report concluded. “CP companies need to fix their governance structures for insights, develop the right capabilities and establish the role of a chief privacy officer. The benefits of consumer insights are there for everyone to see, but sustaining value over the long term will require CP companies to focus on privacy issues as a matter of urgency.”

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