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Loss of Personal Information Tops Consumer Concern

A latest global survey reveals that the theft or loss of personal or financial information is the number one concern among consumers worldwide.


The survey, conducted by world leading research firm Harris Interactive, which was commissioned by Visa International, says the theft or loss of personal or financial information is the number one concern (64 percent) among consumers worldwide, surpassing environmental degradation (62 percent) and terrorism (58 percent) as causes for concern.


Other major issues for the consumers are job losses, disease or epidemics, and natural disasters, the survey says.


Seventy-seven percent of the Chinese surveyed are highly concerned about having personal or financial information lost or stolen, 13 points higher than the worldwide average, the survey shows.


Corresponding to China's overall concerns, an overwhelming 90 percent of the Chinese reported that they are more concerned as a result of what they have heard or seen in the news over the past few months regarding people's personal or financial information being lost or stolen.


Twenty-one percent of Chinese consumers consider it very or extremely likely that their personal or financial information will be lost or stolen in the near future.


More than 6,000 consumers in 12 countries including Australia, China, India, Japan in the Asia Pacific region responded to the survey, which was conducted in November and December 2005 by Harris Interactive.


Seventy-six percent of consumers in India were also very concerned about lost or stolen information. At 52 percent and 48 percent respectively, the levels of concern dropped significantly among consumers in Japan and Australia, the other two Asia-Pacific markets included in the survey.


"Ensuring world class data security in rapidly developing markets is a top priority for Visa and its members," said Peter Maher, executive vice president and general manager, Risk Management, Visa Asia Pacific.


(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2006)

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