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Citizens concerned about cyber security - 3 out of 4 ready to use their right to be forgotten

27 January 2017

Seven out of ten Swedes are worried about Internet security and more than one out of ten have been subject to data breaches. This is revealed in a new survey commissioned by software and services company Tieto. At the same time, nine out of ten people want companies who have been exposed to data breaches to inform them about it within 24 hours.

Next year, in May 2018, the new data protection regulation (GDPR) will come into force in the EU, which gives consumers the right to get their stored data removed from companies’ data register (“Right to be forgotten”). Businesses affected by cyber attacks or data breaches where sensitive information is leaked must also inform the authorities and affected customers (data subjects) of the incident within 72 hours.

To investigate how Swedes view these changes, Tieto has commissioned SIFO to ask more than 1,000 people about their attitudes to data protection and how companies treat personal data. The results show that 93 percent want organisations that have been subject to data breaches, where information is at risk of being leaked, to inform them of this immediately or within 24 hours. At the same time, 3 out of 4 (76%) state that they would consider requesting one or several companies to delete all stored customer and user data about them.

- Consumers are more and more engaged in how companies and organisations treat perhaps the most valuable access of all - namely, the data that is gathered about us. This development places new demands on companies, who need to show how and where they have their data stored. Users expect a high level of security and to be quickly informed about data breaches – and are also prepared to act in order to protect their integrity, says Maria Nordgren, Vice President at Security Services, Tieto.

Highest confidence for IT security in banking services

The survey shows that seven out of ten Swedes are worried about IT security and how personal information is treated in the digital services they use online. Confidence varies according to industry: 66 percent have high or very high confidence in the IT security of banking services, while the corresponding figure for government agencies, municipalities and counties is 54 percent. 18 percent indicate that they have high or very high confidence in IT security and the treatment of personal data in the retail and FMCG industry. At the bottom of the list are social media companies (9 percent) and dating services (4 percent).

- Banks and payment services are increasingly the target of a growing number of sophisticated attacks, but consumers still trust that their critical data and assets are safe. When it comes to social media and messaging services, more and more people are subject to various types of hacking and data breaches, where for example passwords and usernames get into the wrong hands. These experiences are more apparent on a personal and everyday level, which is also reflected in the confidence one has in the services´ IT security, says Maria Nordgren.

For further information, please contact

Mikko Viitala, External Communications Manager, Tieto
phone: +46 72 242 1618, e-mail: mikko.viitala[at]

Excerpts from the survey

Are you worried about IT security and how your personal information is treated by the digital services you use online?
Yes, for most services 23%
Yes, but only for certain services 47%
No, not at all 24%
I don't know 6%

Have you experienced that your personal data and/or password has been leaked and ended up in the wrong hands as a result of a data breach?
Yes, several times 1%
Yes, at some time 13%
No, not as far as I know 83%
I don't know 3%

How quickly would you want a company where you are a customer to inform you of a data breach where your data is at risk of having been leaked?
Immediately 74%
Within 24 hours 19%
Within 72 hours 1%
Within a week 1%
Within a month 0%
Within 6 months 0%
Within a year 0%
Never 0%
I don't know 4%

Would you be willing to request a company to delete all user data they have stored about you?
Yes, in several cases/companies 34%
Yes, in a specific case 42%
No 7%
I don't know 17%

Do you want companies to use information about you and your buying habits to direct new customized offers and services to you?
Yes 4%
Yes, but only in certain cases 38%
No, never 53%
I don't know 5%

About the survey
The survey was conducted in the TNS Sifos web panel on commission by Tieto, during the period 11 - 14 December 2016. A total of 1,268 people were interviewed in the age group 16 - 79 years. The web panel was recruited from a nationally representative random sample. There is no self-recruitment in Sifo's web panel.

Tieto aims to capture the significant opportunities of the data-driven world and turn them into lifelong value for people, business and society. We aim to be customers’ first choice for business renewal by combining our software and services capabilities with a strong drive for co-innovation and ecosystems.  

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