Four in ten consumers say, “Email me about data breaches,” 17-market study reveals
June 17th, 2024, Lesley Simeon

Four in ten consumers say, “Email me about data breaches,” 17-market study reveals

Data breaches are a nightmare for brands and consumers alike - they can strike anytime, leaving companies scrambling to contain the damage. Some noteworthy mentions include the recent data breaches at Japanese auto brand Nissan, American entertainment company Ticketmaster, Indian audio and wearable brand boAt and American biotechnology company 23andMe, which also affected UK customers.

Should a breach occur, how would the consumers of the affected brand prefer receiving news and updates around it? We asked consumers around the world.

Email seems to be the most preferred channel, with text/SMS messages coming in at a very distant second place. Two in five consumers (41%) across 17 international markets have indicated email as their preferred channel should a brand need to communicate data security-related matters.

Text or SMS messages  take second place (16%), followed by phone calls (11%). Just a percent of consumers across markets want brands to communicate with them through voicemail.

Preferred communication channels for data privacy updates, by market 

Half of all Spaniards (50%) surveyed prefer brands to communicate to them about data security/privacy/breach-related matters via email - the most likely across markets to say so. Italians (49%), Danes (49%) and Brits (48%) follow Spaniards very closely. In the US, two in five (40%) consumers also prefer brand communication via email.

Indians are the least likely (28%) across markets to prefer email communication from brands on matters concerning data security.

Australians (24%) and Poles (24%) account for the largest proportion of consumers across markets who would want brands to send them a text or SMS message instead. In Asia, Indians (22%) are the most likely to prefer a text or SMS message as well.

Finally, one in five Mexicans (20%) would prefer that brands ring them up and communicate with them over a phone call about information regarding data security, privacy or breaches. Canada (16%) and Australia (15%) are other markets where consumers would most prefer a phone call as well.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 503 and 2004 or each market. All surveys were conducted online in March 2024. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. 

Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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