More and more companies are experiencing the affects of a data security incident. Whether that incident involves an unauthorized disclosure of personal identifiable information or merely the collection of information, consumers increasingly are demanding to know what information companies are collecting and how the information is being used. If there was a single term to sum up this rising consumer demand it would be “transparency.”

Companies that are not transparent about their data collection and security policies will continue to be highlighted in the media and suffer the consequences for violating the law as more states force companies to be upfront about their policies. Delta Airlines experienced this when it was sued in California earlier this month for failing to be upfront with consumers about the information its Fly Delta app was collecting.

Transparency may limit the total amount of data a company may collect from individuals because some may not want to share their information. Nevertheless, in the long run, consumers are more likely to look favorably on companies that are transparent and give consumers a choice with respect to the collection and security of their data. Having something taken from you (regardless of how the generic information is) without your knowledge is never a good feeling.