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GDPR : market research predicts companies will be hit by massive requests

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A market research carried out for Veritas reveals that a large number of UK consumers are planing to exercise their rights to privacy after 25 May 2018 (GDPR). What should we think about those results ?

Market research results

The main results of the market research carried out for Veritas are the following :

  • 40 per cent of UK consumers intend to exercise their data privacy rights in the next six months
  • Most requests will be sent to financial services, retail and social media companies

The market research was done by surveying 1000 adults in the UK and 2000 adults elsewhere.

Do people really care about privacy?

The results of this study are interesting, yet astonishing. They tend to show that people do care about privacy and are willing to take action.
While I’m not saying people aren’t interested in protecting their privacy, I do question the numbers obtained in the survey. They look to me exaggeretaly optimistic.
What I find interesting however and very valuable are the drivers behind action :

  • getting control over personal data on companies’ systems
  • getting a clearer understanding of what data companies hold
  • requests after data breaches have happened
  • lack of trust in businesses towards personal data protection
  • testing companies before doing business with them
  • retaliating

My take: a biased market research

In my opninion this study is biased. Veritas sells GDPR-related services and like many other consulting firms which tried to instill fear of massive fines to get new contracts, what Veritas is trying to do here looks to me pretty similar. By claiming that 40% of UK adults will make use of their rights after 25 May 2018, Vertitas is certainly trying to push its services for handling those claims.
Let me be clear here. Citizens will NOT massively exervised their rights once the GDPR comes into force. This is a myth. People say they care about privacy and depending on how questions were framed in the market research, I’m pretty convinced you can end up with 40% of people saying they will exercise their rights. This is fact reminds me of the myth of people erasing cookies. In spite of market research (based on declarative statements) claiming that internet users were massinvely erasing cookies on a daily basis, statistics on real behaviors say the opposite
In conclusion good market research isn’t biased. Good market research just tries to give a fair view of the reality.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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