GDPR ‘could wipe out 75% of UK customer databases’

dirty data 2Up to three quarters of the UK’s customer data held within business’ marketing databases could become obsolete on GDPR D-Day, May 25 2018, according to a new audit carried out by data specialists W8, sparking a major rise in repermissioning campaigns.
While the final guidance has yet to emerge from the Information Commissioner’s Office, a third of all marketing campaigns are now focused on ensuring customers have opted in to future communications, pushing acquisition, retention and brand building activity down the list of priorities, Data 8 insists.
And although there has been mounting criticism of the ICO’s slow response, it seems that many companies are preparing for the worst case scenario; the Data Protection Network recently stated that the regulator is unlikely to back down on its draft guidance which stated that consent requires a positive opt-in, a move which would outlaw pre-ticked boxes or any other method of consent by default.
The data audit carried out by W8 Data found that only 25% of existing customer data meets the requirements specified under GDPR. To use existing data, marketers must be satisfied that it meets the new standard and have a fully documented permission trail, including the data and source of the consent.
A separate study by FastMap and Consumer Intelligence recently claimed that the insurance industry would be one of those hit the hardest, with brands being forced to delete up to two thirds of their past customer records.
However, the research also showed that currently only 35% of organisations have a regular data cleansing process in place that includes suppression, deduplication and permission management.
W8 Data director Dave Lee said: “It’s unsurprising that repermissioning campaigns are rocketing as marketers are waking up to the realisation that much of their data will be useless come May 2018.
“But what is crucial moving forwards is that the opted in data is quality checked and well maintained, otherwise it risks becoming uncompliant and unusable. The fact that two-thirds of organisations are currently failing to regularly review their data speaks volumes, and under GDPR is something that is going to have to change.”

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