Almost half (49 per cent) of UK consumers say that they don't believe that businesses care about their digital privacy - and half claim not to trust anyone with protecting their personal information. The conclusion comes from a survey conducted on behalf of Thales.
The news is worst for retailers - trusted by only six per cent of UK consumers. Financial (20 per cent) and healthcare (32 per cent) organisations were next; likely as a result of recent breaches in these verticals, and especially concerning considering the government's plans for a fully digital NHS.
More than two-thirds of respondents said that they thought that their information had been made available for sale online by cyber criminals, and fewer than half (47 per cent) felt that their digital privacy had improved over the last five years.
Although the GDPR presents a real challenge for businesses, consumers are much more positive, with 76 per cent saying that the new regulation would improve the privacy of their online data.
Awareness is still relatively low amongst UK consumers (37 per cent, compared to Germany's 62 per cent). However, these consumers are prepared to use the power that the regulation represents, with 68 per cent saying that they would expect a company to notify them in the case of a breach; and 58 per cent said that they would consider legal action against companies that have been breached. They also said that they would report non-compliance to the ICO (69 per cent) and look to competitors (79 per cent).
Business are concerned - and with good reason
Companies are still not fully ready for the GDPR (38 per cent of UK companies didn't think that they would be compliant by March 2018), and with the potential for consumer legal action, as well as heavy fines, they are justifiably concerned.
63 per cent of UK firms believe that the new regulation will increase complexity and ‘red tape', and 49 per cent think that it will hinder innovation. One in five expect the GDPR to have a negative impact on their relationships with international partners. Oddly, almost a third (32 per cent) think that it will lead to an increase in the number of breaches.
Jim DeLorenzo, solutions manager, GDPR for Thales, said that organisations "could find themselves facing multiple legal challenges in addition to the hefty fines levied by the regulation," and warned that "law firms and compensation companies will begin to focus their efforts on fighting for consumer rights."
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