Call for Government action to explain GDPR to public

parliament-again-new-smallThe Government is being urged to launch a major consumer awareness campaign to explain how GDPR will affect privacy rights, on the back of a new study which shows there could be a mass round of “right to be forgotten” requests simply because of widespread ignorance of the new regulation.
With no sign of the “massive” consumer campaign promised by the European Commission, the latest wave of The QT quarterly tracking study by media agency the7stars, highlights a lack of knowledge among consumers of the changes. Only one in four (27%) of respondents agree they have an understanding of what GDPR is and how it affects them.
Poor understanding of the regulation is further underscored by the fact that 75% of respondents believe the Government needs to make clear what GDPR is and how it is going to affect the British public before it is implemented through the UK Data Protection Bill. This view was particularly acute among those aged 65 and over (88%).
The research shines a spotlight on concerns around data protection and privacy among the British public, with only one in five (19%) confident their personal data is used in the best possible way by business, and GDPR prompting a further three in five (58%) to question how much data businesses hold on them. In fact, over a third (34%) of Brits say they plan to exercise their right to be forgotten.
Despite the concerns Brits have generally about data protection and privacy, 58% of respondents think the regulation is a positive step towards protecting their data and privacy, with Londoners the most positive (65%).
Businesses could also see a benefit, with 32% of customers saying they will trust brands more with their data as a result of the implementation of the regulation. This view was notably higher among those aged 18-24 (40%).
Frances Revel, a director of the7stars, said: “With ‘Implementation Day’ now less than 100 days away, time is running out fast for brands, advertisers and marketers to get their data ducks in a row. Given the importance of data to business operations, the fact that over a third of people are looking to exercise their right to be forgotten represents a real threat that cannot be ignored.
“However, there is still time for Government and brands to come together to tackle consumer concerns around data protection and privacy head on, and the brands who get this right stand to gain the most.”

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