The bigger the breach, it seems the less consumers care. It also helps to not go first.
As each of the three biggest data breaches of all time were disclosed over the past 10 months, the consumer perception impact was significantly less with each successive announcement.
YouGov BrandIndex measured Target, Home Depot, and JPMorgan Chase with its Buzz score, which asks respondents "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" Buzz score can range from 100 to -100, with a zero score equaling positive and negative feedback. All measurements are for adults 18 and over.
Target was hit the hardest when the news broke in late December 2013 that 40 million customers had been impacted: it dropped a steep 49 points from a Buzz score of 20 to -29 in only eight days. Ten months later, Target has returned close to pre-crisis levels with a current score of 15.
Fast forward to September 2nd this year, when Home Depot broke the news of its own data breach that compromised 56 million credit card customers. Home Depot’s Buzz score is already nearly back to where they were on the day that news broke: its Buzz score dropped from 22 down to 6 ten days after the disclosure, drifted further down to 2 almost three weeks later, and is now back up to 17.
Just last week, Chase announced the biggest breach so far, affecting 76 million households and seven million small businesses. They tumbled from 6 down to -7 and early indications are that they may have bottomed out as scores have remained steady for two days.