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British consumers are already taking advantage of GDPR

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Wright Studio)

New research has revealed that the consumer response to GDPR in the UK is shifting with more people activating their new personal data rights faster than expected. 

In its new report titled, GDPR: The right to remain private (opens in new tab), SAS research explores how UK consumers have begun to exercise their new rights under GDPR following Facebook's Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Back in 2017, the firm surveyed UK consumers regarding their views on the regulation and 42 per cent said they planned to exercise their rights within a year of GDPR coming into effect. However, new research from SAS shows that 31 per cent have already activated their rights over personal data and 55 per cent will have done so within a year.

Recent events such as the Cambridge Analytica data scandal have greatly influenced UK consumers and the vast majority (88%) of those surveyed said they were aware of the scandal with 72 per cent saying that it had caused them to either retract data permissions or plan to share less data.

British consumers treat data sharing as a matter of trust and because of this they have a low tolerance for data mistakes or misuse. Almost half (45%) of participants said they would activate their data rights after just one mistake.

SAS' research also shows that companies can win back customers by respecting data privacy and consent. Customers are the most trusting of organisations that promise not to share their data with third parties (39%) or will not misuse their data (36%).

Head of GDPR technology at SAS UK and Ireland, David Smith provided further insight on the firm's report, saying:

“Organisations only have one chance to get GDPR right. UK customers are embracing their new data rights faster than expected, making now a dangerous time for companies scrambling to achieve GDPR parity. Businesses that fail to respect their customers or their data risk losing both, sacrificing their competitive advantage and hurting the bottom line. Transparent data management and analytics are crucial, not only to achieve compliance but to provide personalised customer experiences that make consumers more willing to share their data.”

Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.