Customer Behaviour

Consumers now trust social media companies even less than government organisations after the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica scandal, a new report by Databoxer finds today. Just 17% of consumers say they trust social media companies with their personal data, compared with 32% for government organisations.

The research highlights a worrying time for brands that use customer data for marketing purposes because of the likely knock-on effect the scandal will have in terms of consumer trust in third-party organisations.

Co-founder of Databoxer Tim Haynes said: “With the misuse of data occupying much of the news, consumers are rightly worried about the way organisations use their data. Brands now have a serious job on their hands to ease customer fears over unethical data use

“Traditionally, brands have not been particularly open with customers on how they’re using personal data, usually stating that they’re using it to ‘improve customer understanding’ or ‘deliver a personalised experience’. That lack of clarity won’t wash with consumers for much longer – especially under GDPR legislation.”

The GDPR, which comes into force on Friday 25th May 2018, states that organisations will have to gain explicit consent from consumers to be able to use their data for different marketing purposes, whether it’s to deliver a personalised experience or to continue emailing them marketing newsletters. As well as asking explicitly for permission to continue these practices, organisations will have to provide an easy way for consumers to revoke their permission whenever they choose.

Haynes continues: “Thanks to GDPR, the days of needing to ‘opt out’ of marketing emails are numbered, with the default shifting to ‘opt in’ instead. Yet, our research has shown that brands are pushing it worryingly close to the 25th May deadline to get those permissions – just half of consumers recall seeing an email from brands asking for permission to continue contacting them.”

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