The findings suggest that consumer education on GDPR faces an uphill task and many brands need to brace themselves for a loss of permissioned marketing data. The survey of 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by SAS found that 48% intend to activate their new rights under GDPR, with 15% per cent planning to submit a Subject Access Request (SAR) within the first month. Those aged 45-54 are the most likely to act immediately (21%) compared to just 13% pf 18-24s. Given the higher volume of data likely to be held on middle-aged consumers, that means SARs could be a significant administrative burden for companies in the middle of 2018.
“Finding customer zero is a huge challenge for some organisations. Personal data is often stored in thousands of databases and organisations will need to find, evaluate and categorise every piece of data relating to each customer to ensure compliance,” said Charles Senabulya, vice president and country manager for SAS UK & Ireland.
He added: “Overcoming this challenge presents an opportunity for organisations as they form a new type of relationship with their customers that is bound by integrity, understanding and respect for their individual choices. We are entering a new data era that requires a firm grip of customer data. One that rewards consumers as well as protects their right to privacy.”
Data sharing looks set to face significant barriers with the promise of improved or tailored services only having limited appeal. While four in ten consumers would tell a brand their age, gender or socio-economic group, just 24% say they would share personal contact details or partner status, with 22% willing to share shopping habits. For lifestyle and culture, only 19% would share, while 16% say they would provide sensitive data on sexual orientation, ethnicity or dsiability. Remarkably, just 16% are willing to say what their favourite brands and 14% their media preferences. Social media data scored only 6%, with friends and relatives likes only being shared voluntarily by 5%, although there was an inverse correlation between age and willingness to share.