EU consumers plan to use GDPR powers

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 14 December, 2017

EU consumers plan to use GDPR powers

The introduction of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) could have a significant impact on the more than 1100 Australian companies doing business in the EU, with new research indicating a strong intention among European consumers to exercise their new privacy rights.

A new survey from Pegasystems found that around 82% of European consumers plan to use the rights that will be granted to them under the regulation to view, limit or erase the information that businesses are keeping on them.

The survey found that nearly half (47%) of EU consumers identify the ability to see what data is being kept on them as the most important right enshrined in the GDPR.

This is followed by the ability to demand companies erase their personal data (22%) and visibility into knowing when their data is used to make automated decisions.

When asked about the top three scenarios that would compel consumers to launch a GDPR data inquiry, respondents selected finding that their data was sold or shared with other companies (45%), receiving robo or telemarketing calls (14%) and being marketed to for irrelevant products or in inappropriate ways (12%).

Nearly all (93%) consumers meanwhile said they would erase their personal data if they weren’t comfortable with how they thought companies were using it.

Respondents indicated that they are least comfortable sharing their personal data with companies in the retail sector (45%), followed by telecommunications (16%) and government (15%).

Despite the strong willingness for consumers to exercise their new personal data powers, Pegasystems VP of Product Marketing for CRM Jeff Nicholson said many companies in Australia and elsewhere may struggle to maintain compliance with the GDPR.

He noted that research firm Gartner has predicted that by the end of 2018, more than half of companies affected by the GDPR will not be in full compliance with its requirements.

“But while the prospect of mass data inquiries may induce panic at some companies, savvy businesses are instead viewing GDPR as a golden opportunity,” he said.

“If businesses set their strategy correctly, the very same infrastructure that will enable them to comply with the regulation can actually underpin future success to deliver better customer engagements.”

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