UK citizens are “blind to how their data is used by organisations”, according to research from Civica, which found that only 11 per cent of the UK public trusted their local authority or the government to handle their data appropriately.
Furthermore, as of March 2018, only 12 per cent of UK citizens were aware of GDPR, despite the imminent May deadline for its imposition, with that figure rising to only 18 per cent in the case of 16-24 year-olds, although they are typically the most prolific internet users and generators of personal data.
30 per cent think that they always own their data, even if they give it away and only half (51 per cent) of UK citizens know that they can ask for the data that a company holds on them at any time (subject access requests). 65 per cent believe that their personal information is being shared without their knowledge.
Civica’s research found that 53 per cent of people are more likely to ask for the information a company holds on them once it becomes free to do so when the GDPR comes into force. Civica added that while this would be a positive step for consumers, organisations should prepare for the impact this would have on them regarding their ability to respond in time and efficiently.
More than half (53 per cent) would trust organisations more if they were clear what personal data they stored on them and how they use it, and 48 per cent agreed that data sharing would lead to better services.
Chris Doutney, executive director for digital services, Civicia, said, “GDPR aims to give control of data back to citizens, so it’s worrying that most don’t know what GDPR is. If the UK public doesn’t understand how their data is being used, or the power they will now hold to stop unwanted use of personal data, then it’s a huge opportunity missed.”