Data privacy – trust and confidence in the GDPR era

On Christmas Day it will have been exactly seven months since the GDPR was brought into effect. So, does it comes as any surprise that data privacy is still the talking point in tech conversations?

It would have been naïve in the extreme, to think that GDPR was going to “come and go” without incident. In fact, quite the opposite has happened, with top brands falling foul to data breaches and even deliberate privacy violations. The consequences of such non-compliance have included hefty fines and brand-theatening reputational damage.

The recent story concerning the Starwood Hotels data breach is a good example. Could this make parent company Marriott the most significant fine under GDPR to date? Or, perhaps the ongoing battle between Facebook and multiple governments will make Marriott’s woes seem paltry by comparison?

Such events prompted a special study in the UK and USA to analyse people’s perceptions of their online presence, and the current feelings of consumers towards online data privacy.

According to the study, the last 12 months has had a profound effect on the perceptions of internet users. 72% said they’re more savvy about how organisations collect and use their personal data than in the previous year.

Trust and confidence – essential to competing effectively

Gaining and retaining the trust and confidence of customers is critical to remaining competitive. Companies of all sizes, from sole traders to multinationals, need to take GDPR privacy rules seriously. Any organisation that holds and processes personal data must implement data collection methods which are compliant and beneficial to all.

64% of British and American consumers believe that sharing personal data online can be beneficial. Almost 2 in 3 acknowledge that sharing personal information is fundamental to the digital age in which we live.

The study also revealed consumers were more motivated to share personal data online was when they have trust in a company (53%). Being able to access and delete their data (46%) was the most important factor for consumers across all demographics. However, many people are still nervous and feel they are not in control of their data. Consequently, companies that fail to demonstrate due respect for individuals’ personal information stand to lose all credibility.

New data privacy laws the world over are demanding that companies be transparent with consumers. They must allow people more control over the personal information they share. Trust and confidence is vital to building good customer relationships – and fundamental to competing effectively.

 

Sources and further reading: GlobalWebIndex

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