Brexit is not just causing uncertainty among business - consumers have become more fearful, too, with 21% saying they now feel their personal data is less secure. But it could be a case of GDPR to the rescue - 81 per cent say they are more likely to share their personal data once it is in place.
That’s according to a report, “Unlocking the potential of personal data”, commissioned by Callcredit Informaton Group and based on 3,000 consumer responses to an online survey run by Loudhouse. The finding is encouraging, although it is not quite the full story, as Mark Davison, chief data officer at Callcredit, acknowledged. “I don’t think there is much consumer awareness about GDPR,” he told DataIQ. In fact, the question asked whether consumers would be more confident knowing there was new legislation protecting their personal data.
Fair enough and still encouraging given the nature of the digital economy. “All of the data which is out there could be a really good thing for consumers,” argued Davison. “The more accurate it is, the better the decisions and experiences which companies can make and provide.”
Callcredit’s intention with the research was to dig into consumer awareness of both the increased availabilty of their data to commercial organisations and also of how their privacy is protected. “What it shows is that there are big differences between age groups. The youngest group are so used to sharing via social media that giving their data to a retailer or on a web site or mobile app is just part of their lives. As the age group gets older, they have a different perspective,” he said.
In fact, on trust metrics there is an inverse correlation between consumer age and industry sectors. For the young, social media are most trusted and public sector the least, while for the older group, it is the other way around. In middle age, banks generate the most confidence. “That makes sense given their different life experiences,” pointed out Davison.
The paradox of Brexit is that it has caused uncertainty which only European legislation is able to dampen down. He noted that, “as consumers, we are deferring back to the EU, like it or lump it, because that high degree of regulation around personal data gives comfort.”
What the report also revealed is how the nature of the data-value exchange differs according to how the customer journey begins. Davison pointed to the example of an individual who has found a new house and is now looking for a mortgage. “They need to share their data and don’t care what they sign up to, they just want to facilitate that purchase,” he noted.
By contrast, an account management journey faces more obstacles and requires a brand to point out that, by sharing data, the customer might save themselves money as a result of more accurate risk assessment by an insurer, for example. Davison said: “The consumer has not started that journey, it is about data fuelling the sales process. So how do you get that consumer to share their data on the promise of something in return? It is a different experience and value exchange.”
Part of that exchange is the convenience which data sharing creates, as recognised by 47% of consumers who noted that it allows them to have the same conversation with a brand across any channel, with 39% seeing more personalised offers as an opportunity that makes data sharing worthwhile.
“That is a reasonable base to build on,” said Davison. “With device data and the internet of things, there is a growing awareness and confidence to say it is ok to share data in the background if it allows the consumer to do things they couldn’t otherwise do. It gives them tailored services, saves them money and a better life.”