Survey highlights widespread mistrust of brands handling of personal data

Survey highlights widespread mistrust of brands handling of personal data

A Gigya poll of 4,002 adults, drawn half and half from the US and UK, has found that two thirds of respondents fret that their personal data is at risk, fueling fears of a mass consumer ‘opt-out’ upon the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation come 2018.

This will see the EU mandate an ‘opt-in’ approach to data collection and use, sparking concerns that consumers will simply switch off Internet of Things enabled devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers with two thirds questioning the security of their data.

The figures, contained in Gigya’s 2017 State of Consumer Privacy and Trust Survey, indicates that brands face a tough fight over the next few months to reverse such sentiments, particularly those most reliant on consumer insights to tailor their services.

Perhaps more worryingly they show that 32% of UK respondents believe brands’ privacy policies have become weaker in light of high profile cyber-attacks, despite the advent of tighter legislation.

Richard Lack, managing director of EMEA at Gigya, commented: "Marketers are about to experience a seismic shift in the way they collect and manage data. GDPR, which is just a little more than a year away, will keep brands honest by forcing an ‘opt-in’ policy on consumer data for the first time and radically changing the way that personally identifiable information is defined. This research pinpoints an urgent need for retailers and marketers to restore public confidence in the year ahead. They must put GDPR compliant systems in place to prevent a mass consumer ‘opt-out’ when the new regulations are enforced.”

Recent political upheaval on both sides of the Atlantic has also fueled data privacy concerns with 18% of Britons believing their data will be less secure with Theresa May at the helm (versus 17% who think it will be more secure) and 26% of Americans who believe Donald Trump will water down data security – although 32% think security will be strengthened.

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