GDPR is on its way to becoming a reality (4 months and counting), and a lot of articles have focused on the impact for businesses, the changes in fines and regulations, the risk for companies who wouldn’t comply with measures, etc… What has been very little discussed, if not at all, is the impact on consumers and how they’ll respond to these measures.

Once GDPR will come to play, you’ll have the absolute right to know how your data is used and stored or even further, decide if you want it deleted. But in practice, how will this play? What would happen if everyone decided at once to retrieve their data? Is it even possible? Are we looking at a “Russian bank account in Cyprus” situation regarding data?

On the bright side, we know about the UK’s population intentions thanks to a survey conducted by SAS. The results don’t fiddle around and straight away, 15 per cent of the population declared that they would be exercising their rights exactly when the GDPR comes into play (May 2018).

Furthermore, almost half of the adult population (48 per cent) plan on activating their new rights in the following months of GDPR taking effect. The poll focuses on the nation’s sentiment regarding the legislative changes inherent to the new regulation and compliance resembles a daunting task for corporations focused on data. As Charles Senabulya, vice president and country manager for SAS UK & Ireland says: “Personal data is often stored in thousands of databases and organisations will need to find, evaluate and categorise every piece of data relating to each customer to ensure compliance. Overcoming this challenge presents an opportunity for organisations as they form a new type of relationship with their customers that is bound by integrity, understanding and respect for their individual choices. We are entering a new data era that requires a firm grip of customer data. One that rewards consumers as well as protects their right to privacy”.

Another question is then raised: Will anyone actually want to share data with organisations or brands?

Here comes the tricky part because as we could expect, most people don’t especially want to share data with any organization, but it does change according to generations. The survey suggests that the people most likely to send out a request are in the 45 to 54 age group whereas in the 18 to 24 age group this intention is significantly lower.

SAS asked consumers what information they would be willing to share with favorited brands in order to get improved services. Only a very small minority are willing to share what their friends and relatives like or dislike (five per cent), details on their social media activity (six per cent), information on their feelings or emotions (seven per cent) or insight into their credit rating (eight per cent), political preferences (eight per cent) and opinions on societal issues (nine per cent). In contrast, 41 per cent would share base demographics and 24 per cent, personal contact details.

The poll suggests changes in attitude regarding personal data among the younger generations. Basically, the older you are, the less you’ll be willing to share personal data.

(Source: image: CBC)