With the digital revolution sparked by Covid driving awareness around data protection, a new study has reopened the debate on data standards, with nearly two-thirds of UK consumers (63%) saying they would be more likely to buy from a brand if it was officially endorsed with a privacy certificate, such as a kitemark, backed by the Government.
The study has been carried out by Arlington Research for privacy tech firm Trūata among 8,000 consumers in the UK, US, France, Brazil and South Korea. It reveals that 64% of respondents have increased their use of tech since the pandemic began.
Nearly half (47%) said they have even tapped into apps and tech solutions that they would not have previously used due to data privacy concerns.
In the UK, over three-quarters (77%) believe that brands need to do more to protect their data privacy but 65% are more willing to engage and shop with brands that tell them exactly what they will do with their data, and 60% agree that they would spend more money with a brand that they trust with their personal data.
Trūata chief executive Felix Marx said: “Accelerated digital transformation has led to heightened awareness around data privacy and driven new behaviours from privacy conscious consumers.
“Our report signals the need for brands to attune themselves with the evolving privacy landscape and prioritise strategies that will appease the rising demands of consumers all over the world – without compromising on commercial growth.
“The opportunity to gain a competitive advantage sits with intuitive leaders who step ahead with this consumer foresight.”
When it comes to accreditation schemes, the DMA has had its DataSeal in place since 2010. Developed in conjunction with British Standards Institute, DataSeal claims to be the only recognised standard for information security management systems other than ISO:27001.
The Market Research Society launched its Fair Data kitemark for data handling in 2013, but the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has stopped short of launching its own scheme, meaning there is no official GDPR certification programme.
In 2018, policy think tank Reform called on the UK Government to create a “seal of approval” for data which shows that data quality is satisfactory and biases have been accounted for.
The report suggested the kitemark should be similar to the O’Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing model, a system developed by mathematician Cathy O’Neil to assess potential bias in algorithms and artificial intelligence software.
As well as the kitemark, the report, ‘Sharing the benefits – How to use data effectively in the public sector’, suggests the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) should develop a “data quality assurance toolkit”.
However, it appears the report is still at the bottom of the DCMS’ “to-do” tray.
Nearly half of all Brits want hard cash for their data
Brands ‘must earn customer data, not simply grab it’
Data-driven firms thrive but there’s still work to be done
Data-driven firms ‘far more resilient to Covid meltdown’
ICO urges firms to get privacy seals