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BizReport : : July 20, 2017

UK consumers prepare to exercise new rights under GDPR

Consumers in the UK are preparing to wield their new rights over personal data that will come into effect with the General Data Protection Regulation in May, 2018, according to research commissioned by analytics specialist SAS.

by Helen Leggatt

In a survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers conducted by OnePoll for SAS, nearly two-thirds (64%) welcomed the right to access personal information being held by companies, as per the EU GDPR and 62% the right to have that data removed. More than half (59%) were pleased to see a right to rectification, 56% the right to object to companies using data for marketing or profiling, while 54% welcomed the right to restrict processing, where the accuracy of data is in question.

And, nearly half (48%) said they were planning to wield those new rights over personal data. Specifically:

- 33% plan to exercise their right to have their personal data removed by retailers;
- 33% plan to request that retailers cease using their personal data for marketing purposes;
- 24% plan to access the data retail companies hold about them; and,
- 17% will challenge automated decisions made by retailers.

Older consumers (45 - 54) are the mostly likely to exercise their rights (21%) dropping to 13% among those aged between 18 and 24.


Not all consumers plan to wipe their data records clean. Four in ten said they are happy to share basic demographic information and 19% will share hobby and lifestyle information, in return for a reward such as discounts or preferential treatment.

"Finding customer zero is a huge challenge for some organisations," said Charles Senabulya, vice president and country manager for SAS UK and Ireland. "Personal data is often stored in thousands of databases and organisations will need to find, evaluate and categorize every piece of data relating to each customer to ensure compliance. Overcoming this challenge presents an opportunity for organisations as they form a new type of relationship with their customers that is bound by integrity, understanding and respect for their individual choices. We are entering a new data era that requires a firm grip of customer data. One that rewards consumers as well as protects their right to privacy."

Figures released earlier this year by the DMA (UK) showed that 26% of companies in the UK believe they are unprepared for its introduction and only 56% believe they are prepared.

Tags: data privacy, data protection, data trends, EU, GDPR

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