RILA: Protecting customer data is top of mind for retailers

Arlington, Va. Retailers now more than ever are viewing the issues of privacy and security as strategic imperatives within their organizations, according to a report released by the Retail Industry Leaders Association in partnership with Retail Systems Research.

The report, entitled “Building Trust and Growing the Brand: The Role of Privacy and Security in Retail 2010,” contains analysis of the business drivers, opportunities and information technology enablers surrounding security and privacy initiatives, as well as recommendations for creating successful internal and customer-facing policies.

“For 47% of overall respondents, proactively addressing privacy and security issues enables them to move forward with an aggressive cross-channel agenda,” said Steve Rowen, co-author of the report. “Customers are researching, shopping, and returning any way they please, in any channel, in any combination of channels -- in ways that were not predicted even a few short years ago. Retailers know this, and for nearly half of them, there is a strong recognition that privacy and security are a prerequisite to keeping a competitive position in the game.”

When it comes to the attitudes toward customer concerns, 87% of winning retailers believe that recent publicized breaches have raised consumer awareness about payment data. Seventy-two percent of winning retailers shared that privacy is a concern for their customers and retail products and services require the protection of sensitive information.