Retailers and social media companies will be hit hardest by consumers’ desire to use GDPR to take back control of their data, according to new research which reveals that more people are activating their new personal data rights, and faster, than expected.
According to a tracking study carried out by SAS, entitled “GDPR: The right to remain private”, over a third (35%) of consumers have, or intend, to remove their data from social media companies and retailers.
In 2017, SAS surveyed UK consumers for their views on the regulation, revealing that 42% planned to exercise their rights within a year of GDPR coming into force. However, 31% have already activated their rights over personal data, and 55% will have done so within a year.
The greatest number of consumers object to social media companies (43%) and retailers (41%) using their personal data for marketing purposes – supermarkets (37%), insurers (35%) and energy providers (34%) follow closely behind.
Email marketers had also better watch out. While a separate study recently revealed that email remains the most popular method of marketing communication for consumers, they are an unforgiving bunch, with receiving unwanted emails being the public’s most-hated data mistake, with 57% of consumers objecting to it.
There is also a sting in the tail for companies which share data with third parties; over half (54%) of consumers also strongly object to their data being shared.
SAS UK and Ireland head of GDPR technology David Smith said: “Organisations only have one chance to get GDPR right. UK customers are embracing their new data rights faster than expected, making now a dangerous time for companies scrambling to achieve GDPR parity.
“Businesses which fail to respect their customers or their data risk losing both, sacrificing their competitive advantage and hurting the bottom line. Transparent data management and analytics are crucial, not only to achieve compliance but to provide personalised customer experiences that make consumers more willing to share their data.”
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