Is GDPR a nine day wonder?
16 Oct, 2018
It’s been some months since the big push to hit the May 25th deadline and the much-hyped fines have yet to hit the headlines.
It’s enough to make you wonder if GDPR will prove to be another of this decade’s nine day wonders, like fidget spinners and feeling optimistic about the World Cup.
However, recent research by Toluna, as reported in Marketing Week, offers hope that GDPR has made a strong start to putting data management towards the forefront of consumers’ consciousness. Of 1,000 consumers surveyed, 57% feel that they have a better understanding of how companies are using their personal data since the introduction of GDPR.
Companies that have been slow to realise that consumers are becoming more data savvy would do well to take heed of Toluna’s other findings.
Brand confidence takes a hit
The researchers found that 90% of consumers who thought they’d witnessed brands acting unlawfully lost trust in those brands and half suggested that they would take their custom elsewhere. This indicates that consumer loyalty (or lethargy) may no longer be enough to smooth over the damage done by data misuse.
As more than a third of consumers surveyed believe that companies have used their personal data without their consent since GDPR was introduced, we should expect some substantial shifts in consumer’s buying choices over the next few years. Businesses, of whatever size, need to be as mindful of the potential correlation between poor data handling and increased customer churn as they are of the risk of large fines.
Facing the fines
So, has the ICO gone quiet on GDPR? Absolutely not. Recently, the ICO fined Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd also known as Emma’s Diary for “illegally collecting and selling personal information belonging to more than one million people”. The £140,000 fine, imposed for breaching the Data Protection Act, may fail to have hit the million mark mooted for GDPR breaches, but is still high enough to hit most businesses hard. The ICO’s own blog summarises the GDPR before adding, “Due to the timing of certain incidents in this investigation, civil monetary penalties have to be issued under the previous legislation, the Data Protection Act 1998.” Had the incidents taken place after 25th May, Emma’s Diary may have made for a harder read.
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