Here’s What You Would Do If Your Company Was Mishandling User Data

Last week, we asked what you would do if your company was found to be misusing or mishandling user data. Now we’ve got the results, and it shows tech pros are a trustworthy bunch.

The questionnaire had one simple problem and four possible answers. When we asked “What would you do if you see an issue with your company’s handling of user or client data?,” these were the options:

  • Quit
  • Leak it to the media
  • Take it to your boss (and all the way to the CEO if necessary)
  • Nothing

An overwhelming majority of Dice readers chose what most would consider the right thing: A full 78 percent say they’d report the issue to their boss, and their boss’s boss if necessary; in fact, they’d go all the way to the CEO if that’s what it took to have the problem examined appropriately.

Around 12 percent say they’d simply quit their job; rather than be associated with a company that mishandles data (possibly purposefully), those respondents prefer to simply move on. For good reason, too: post-Uber and Facebook, having a toxic company on your résumé can be daunting.

Another 6.4 percent report they’d do nothing about the data breach or mishandling of user info. And 2.5 percent say they’d leak the issue to the press straight away, a sign they don’t trust their company to act responsibly behind closed doors.

There were some who had more complex fixes. Some 2.5 percent of respondents report they’d both take it to their boss and leak it, and 4 percent say they’d take it all the way to the CEO and quit thereafter.

In the wake of Facebook’s issues regarding how it stores, shares, and uses our data, government regulation is potentially on the table for the tech industry. If the largest social company on Earth (with what is likely the largest trove of personal info) can’t be trusted, who can?

Happily, our data shows self-regulation still works, by and large. While we’d obviously like the number of those choosing to report be closer to 100 percent, four-fifths is a solid metric.

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