Voice of the Customer

Ahead of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on 25 May, new research from Kantar TNS has revealed that most consumers are unaware of the changes being introduced.

Only 35 per cent of the 1,236 respondents to Kantar TNS’ first GDPR Awareness Index have heard of GDPR and the research reveals a poor understanding of what is covered by the new regulation.

When asked what they thought fell under the remit of GDPR, most agreed that it will take into account basic demographic information such as name, age and gender.  However, fewer than half of respondents think it will extend to passive monitoring such as cookie tracking, location data, online purchase history or social media habits.

In addition, most UK consumers are still reluctant to share their personal data with companies, even if it would provide them with better goods or services. Some 51 per cent of respondents said they are disinclined to share their data, versus 30 per cent in favour.

Phil Sutcliffe, head of offer and innovation at Kantar TNS UK, explains, “The low consumer awareness of GDPR should not lull organisations into believing that issues of data security and transparency do not matter. In fact, it is quite the opposite, and we can expect these issues to loom larger in the public consciousness as the GDPR launch date approaches and people start to see and hear more about it.”

“Businesses must act fast and be transparent with consumers to demonstrate that their data is safe and being used thoughtfully and effectively in a way that enables a better service, end product or customer experience. If this value exchange is not explicit, there’s a danger that people will simply opt out of data relationships as their awareness of GDPR and the rights it gives them grows.”

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