• Helen Pritchett

Data Privacy: What the Consumer Really Thinks

The DMA has recently published a report on data privacy and what it really means for the consumer. Created in partnership with Acxiom, the report digs deep into how we all feel about the data we share, and how businesses can create real trust and take their customers to that next level.

Is transparency the key to making more consumers happy with data sharing?

We are undergoing a major modernisation of the legislative framework and, as a central element of this, The GDPR seeks to balance the customer’s right to privacy with the legitimate interests of companies wanting to serve them better.

"GDPR comes into force in May and our research shows that consumer attitudes are already changing in a way that makes us optimistic" said Chris Combemale, Group CEO of the DMA.

What is interesting is that since the report was first conducted in 2012, the overall level of concern about data privacy and usage has declined. Consumers seem happy to share data as long as there is a clear and positive reward or value in exchange. Consumers understand their data is valuable and but want organisations to be transparent about data usage and accountable for their actions. 88% of consumers cited transparency as the key to trust.

GDPR provides a clear opportunity for organisations to be more transparent and customer-centric. It should be viewed as an opportunity, not feared as a legislative hammer to crack a nut.

Combemale goes on to say "‘Put the customer first’ is the guiding principle of the DMA Code and for the many organisations who are DMA members. If your product or service creates real benefits for people by using their data then you should be happy to say so, openly and proudly. Consumers will reward you with their trust and their custom."

The report shows a rising awareness and understanding of the role of data exchange in modern societies. The number of people in the UK who see the exchange of personal information as essential for the smooth running of modern society has grown notably. Just over half of UK consumers now hold this view compared to 38% in 2012. It's also clear that younger generations show more awareness and acceptance of data-exchange. However, the vast majority of consumers (78%) believe that businesses benefit disproportionately from data exchange in the UK. 

Establishing trust is paramount to developing a sustainable data economy. 54% of respondents ranked this option in their top three considerations for data exchange. Trust in an organisation or business remains the dominant prerequisite when engaging consumers within the data economy and transparency is entrenched as a consumer priority for data exchange.

To read the full report click here.

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