Companies might be struggling to get in shape for the looming EU General Data Protection Regulation but it could prove a blessing in disguise for marketers if a new survey – which suggests consumers will be far more willing to share their data under GDPR – proves correct.
GDPR, which will come into force in May 2018 following a two-year transition period, has been one of the most feared pieces of legislation for years.
Many companies are quaking at the prospect of huge fines, of up to 4% of global turnover, for serious data breaches; the prospect of having to hire data protection officers; threats to profiling; simpler opt-outs; and tougher rules on marketing consent.
Of course, consumer awareness of GDPR is likely to virtually non-existent – after all, there are still many companies which have not heard of it. But research by Callcredit Information Group, designed to gain a deeper understanding of consumer attitudes towards data sharing, reveals 81% of UK consumers who have been briefed on the changes believe the new laws will make them more likely to hand their personal data over to companies.
And, it seems, consumers also welcomes the protection that being part of the EU gives them, with almost a quarter (21%) of those surveyed saying that Brexit has made them feel their personal data is less secure.
The survey, part of the Unlocking the Potential of Personal Data report, paints a picture of a discerning and savvy consumer who is taking control and ownership over their personal information, Callcredit reckons.
The company believes consumers understand the benefits of sharing their data with brands; 47% admit that it saves them time by enabling them to have the same conversation with a brand online, on the phone and in-store and 39% recognise the opportunity to receive more personalised offers.
The research also suggests there is a role for businesses to play in providing reassurance. Some 55% admit they would share more information about themselves with organisations and businesses if they had a better understanding of how it would benefit them.
Callcredit chief data officer Mark Davison commented: “The digital revolution has led to an unprecedented explosion of personal data that continues to erupt at an astounding rate. Naturally, consumers are curious about how this data gets used and how safely it is stored. But while regulation is one way to build consumer trust, businesses also have a crucial role to play in ensuring the security of their customers and making sure they communicate the steps taken to achieve this at every stage of the customer journey.
“More must be done to ensure that people feel they have full control over their own data and a deeper understanding about how brands are using it. This, combined with tackling consumer concerns about the risk of identity theft and online fraud, will accelerate growth of the hotly anticipated rise of the personal information economy to the mutual benefit of both businesses and consumers.”
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