EU residents already have the right to ask a company what personal data is held on them (gender, age, location, sexual preference, religious beliefs, passport/ driver's licence information, etc.) but from May 25 they will also have enhanced rights to ask to have their data deleted ('right to erasure'). Businesses will be required to sufficiently respond to these requests within one month of receiving the request.
The study, commissioned by Veritas and conducted by 3GEM, surveyed 3,000 adults, including 1,000 in the UK. It reveals that consumers are financial services companies, including banks and insurance companies will have the most requests (56%,) followed by social media companies (48%), retailers (46%), former, current or potential employers (24%) and healthcare providers (21%).
The findings come as consumers reveal an increasing need to regain control over their personal data as trust in businesses to protect data fades, and as more and more consumers express a desire to put organisations to the test to understand whether they value consumer rights.
Of those who intend to exercise their rights, two-thirds (65%) plan to request access to the personal data a company holds on them, while the majority (71%) intend to exercise their right to erasure.
Over half (56%) also want to know exactly what personal information companies hold on them, while the same proportion (56%) do not feel comfortable having personal data sit on systems that they have no control over.
Others just want to get revenge: 8% will exercise their data privacy rights simply to irritate a company that they feel has mistreated them.
However, the majority of consumers (79%) believe that organisations will not be able to find and/or delete all of the personal data that is held on them, and a fifth (20%) reckon that businesses will only be able to deliver up to 50% of the personal data they hold.
Veritas executive vice president and chief product officer Mike Palmer said: "In light of recent events surrounding the use of personal data by social media, and other companies, consumers are taking much more of an interest in how their data is used and stored by businesses across many industry sectors.
"With a flood of personal data requests coming their way in the months ahead, businesses must retain the trust of consumers by demonstrating they have comprehensive data governance strategies in place to achieve regulatory compliance."