data connect

With GDPR coming into effect today (25 May), new research shared exclusively with Marketing Week finds there is a growing gap in consumers’ understanding of how organisations use their data.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), finds 48% of consumers do not understand where and how organisations typically use their personal data. That is up from 31% when the research was last conducted two years ago.

Just 7% feel they have a good understanding of how companies use their data, with 45% saying they “somewhat understand”. But less than a fifth (18%) believe businesses treat people’s personal data in an honest and transparent way.

A third of consumers (29%), say they have received communication from a business they did not give permission to contact them in the past month, while 19% believe they have received something in the past six months and 13% in the past year. Just 17% believe they have never been contacted by a brand without their permission, while 17% are unsure.

We need to start thinking more about how we treat people like people and less like robots.

Jascha Kaykas-Wolf, Mozilla

Less than half (41%) of those questioned are aware of the new data regulations, but of those that are, 68% think it will improve how organisations use data. However, just 43% say they “know their rights as a consumer in relation to data protection”.

The figures suggest brands and regulators need to do a better job of explaining how data is used, and what the new data laws mean. The Information Commissioners’ Office launched a consumer campaign last month, but some have questioned if it is high-profile enough to garner people’s attention.

READ MORE: Harry Lang – Where’s the GDPR campaign to tell consumers about their data rights?