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Research from DST and DataIQ Indicates Companies Don’t Fully Appreciate the Privacy Fears of Their Customers

New White Paper Looks At How GDPR Will Impact both Business and Consumers 

DST (NYSE: DST), a global provider of specialised technology, strategic advisory, and operations outsourcing to the financial and healthcare industries, and DataIQ, a specialist in data governance, research, and audit, today released the first in a series of white papers addressing the potential impact of upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on business critical processes.

The first white paper focuses on “Permission” – how consumers give consent to a company to use their personal information, how aware individuals are of the process, and how important permission-to-market is for companies.

The research, conducted by DataIQ in association with DST, reveals a disconnect between the way that consumers want businesses to treat their data and how businesses currently approach their customers’ data.

Among the paper’s key findings:

  • 78% of companies say it is vitally important to process data for legitimate business interests
  • 28% of consumers believe they should always be asked for permission to use their data
  • 21% of consumers believe that data consent should only be valid for six months
  • 21% of consumers believe their data should be deleted straight away
  • Only 15% of businesses track permission company-wide
  • 41% of consumers don’t mind providing their data if they understand how it will be used

According to Ruaraidh Thomas, Managing Director at DST Applied Analytics, with so few companies currently tracking permission as a key performance indicator, there is a lot of work to be done in order for businesses to be ready for the GDPR.

“With such a high degree of connectivity and Internet activity, consumers are increasingly faced with requests for their personal information and their permission to make use of it,” says Thomas. “It’s clear from this research that companies need to work to understand their customers’ expectations when it comes to sharing data in order to build long lasting relationships, especially given the upcoming GDPR.”

The GDPR is an important update to laws covering the capture, control, and consent to use of personal information. While built on the core principles already established by the Data Protection Directive in 1998, GDPR also introduces new rights for consumers and new obligations for businesses.

According to DataIQ/DST research, a quarter of consumers said incentives like better price or money-off can work as a driver for the data-value exchange. The research also found that a large percentage of people just need to understand why their data is needed. 

“In preparation for the GDPR, businesses must take note of how consumers wish to be engaged, especially since so many businesses rely on data as part of their business model,” says Thomas. “The fact that some consumers are happy to provide their data if they understand what it is to be used for demonstrates just part of the opportunity available for businesses who respond appropriately.”