Further evidence has emerged of Facebook being totally out of step with public sentiment over privacy rights after a new study reveals that the overwhelming majority (93%) of consumers in non-EU countries would like GDPR to be in effect in their country.
The study by Unruly, carried out by Toluna, quizzed 4,000 respondents across eight territories – the UK, US, Germany, Sweden, India, Australia, Japan and Singapore.
It follows sharp criticism of Facebook’s decision to move the accounts of nearly 1.5 billion users out of its Irish HQ to its US headquarters, meaning that they will not longer be covered by GDPR. Members based in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America will no longer be protected under the new privacy laws, with the change affecting over 70% of its two billion-plus user base. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s actions in the face of greater scrutiny over the company’s privacy policies have also been slammed.
The Unruly findings also reveal that consumer awareness about the new regulation is still low – despite the recent barrage of repermissioning emails. However, businesses have much to gain if they can demonstrate responsible behaviour with customer data with nearly three-fifths (63%) of consumers worldwide trusting brands more when they are clear about how and where their data is used.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has also had a knock-on effect; 43% of people worldwide say their trust in advertising on social media has dropped significantly in the last few months. This rises to over half (51%) of UK consumers.
The message is clear; brands must be more transparent about data usage if they want to win back and retain consumer trust, but there is also a communication gap between brands and their customers.
Unruly global CEO Norm Johnston said: “Although the ad industry has conducted inward-looking research about preparations for GDPR, it seems little attention has been paid to whether consumers understand and want these changes. The whole point of GDPR is to put consumers back in control of their data, so we felt it was essential to find out what they thought about the legislation.”
“GDPR is going to change the way any brand operating in Europe, and potentially around the world, communicates. We see this a hugely positive move that challenges our industry to hold a mirror up to itself and strive to be more transparent, authentic and accountable to consumers.”
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