GDPR has not given consumers greater confidence in interacting with publishers and marketers online, according to a new survey of UK consumers by TrustArc and Ipsos. The companies surveyed 2,230 adults this month to assess their perceptions and attitudes in the wake of GDPR’s passage a year ago.
The survey asked questions about trust, compliance perceptions and whether consumers had exercised their data rights under the new rules. A majority (57%) of UK consumers said they would be more likely to do business with publishers and brands that could demonstrate GDPR compliance, with a badge or seal.
Most can’t tell who’s GDPR complaint. Only 25% of UK survey respondents felt able to tell if a company was GDPR complaint. And just 36% agreed with the statement “I trust companies and organizations with my personal data more since the GDPR privacy regulation came into effect one year ago.”
There was also confusion or ambivalence about whether GDPR privacy regulation has been effective. Just over a third (34%) of respondents said enforcement has “worked well,” while 39% were neutral, 14% disagreed and 12% didn’t know. In other words, 66% don’t know or disagreed with the notion that it had been effective.
Few exercising GDPR rights. The survey also asked whether respondents had “exercised your GDPR privacy rights.” Only a small minority have done so according to the findings:
- Opting-out of/unsubscribing to email marketing: 35%
- Opting-out of/not consenting to a request to install cookies: 23%
- To restrict the use of your personal data: 13%
- To erase or delete your personal data: 10%
- To correct personal data held about you: 6%
- To request access to your personal data: 5%
- To request to transfer your personal data: 3%
- To make a privacy complaint to a regulator: 3%
- None of these: 43%
- Don’t know: 10%
Why we should care. From the particular consumer vantage point of this survey, it would appear GDPR is mostly a failure. Consumers are confused and relatively few of them are taking advantage of personal data protections. Yet this may be more of a failure of messaging by the EU rather than a failure of the initiative itself.
On the other hand these findings may give some comfort to companies anticipating similar data restrictions in the U.S. Few consumers are complaining or taking action. Only 13% have acted to restrict use of their personal data — though it’s clear that consumers are concerned about privacy and being more discriminating with things like location sharing in mobile apps.