New research from TrustArc shows ongoing concerns about privacy and its impact on businesses.

The research findings in the U.S. and Great Britain both uncover that consumer privacy concerns remain extremely high, with 92% of U.S. internet users and 89% of British users worrying about their privacy online.

Online shopping and banking, along with using social networks, top the list of both U.S. and British online privacy concerns:

    • 93% of U.S. and 88% of British internet users worry about their privacy when shopping online;
    • 90% of U.S. and 86% of British internet users worry when banking online;
    • and 90% of U.S. and 86% of British internet users worry about their privacy when using social networks.

Despite the constant media coverage of U.S. government surveillance programs, such as the National Security Agency’s PRISM, only 38% of U.S. and 20% of British internet users cite this as a reason for their increased concern. The top two responses were concern about businesses sharing personal information with other companies and concern about companies tracking online behavior to provide targeted ads and content.

The rise of consumer mistrust coupled with the potential negative impact on business reveals now more than ever, building consumer confidence and trust is of the utmost importance. Consumer trust continues to fall, with only 55% of internet users in the U.S. and 55% of those in Great Britain trusting companies with their personal information. 89% of internet users in the U.S. and Great Britain said they avoid doing business with companies where they have privacy concerns.

70% of U.S. internet users said they felt more confident that they knew how to manage their privacy than one year ago, compared to 66% of British users. However, this can cause consumers to take actions that negatively impact businesses.

Increased privacy concerns mean consumers are less likely to click on online advertisements, avoid using apps they don’t believe protect their privacy, and are less likely to enable location tracking on smartphones.

However, there are steps that businesses can take, as 3 out of 4 consumers are more likely to look for privacy certifications and seals to address their privacy concerns.