Getting your Data Right
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Getting your Data Right

With GDPR on the horizon, CIM’s Data Right campaign urges organisations to take action on the issue of responsible management of customer data.

It might come as no surprise that 60 per cent of consumers are worried about cybercrime, or that more than half (52 per cent) are worried about online fraud. But a CIM survey of marketers has highlighted that a key concern is something else altogether: who’s in control of their personal data.

Consumer fear of data breaches

The 'Whose data is it anyway' survey revealed that 92 per cent of consumers do not fully understand where and how marketers, brands and organisations use their personal information and data, and 31 per cent said they have no idea about where and how their personal data is being used. Fear of data breaches and misuse, the report says, has them on high alert.

There are reasons for this. The rapid growth of the digital economy has resulted in huge increase in the volume of exchanges of personal data. The collection of information about users and their habits and preferences, and automated decision-making both in public and private sectors, is rising at a dramatic rate. Little wonder that issues have been raised about the rights of individuals and the protection of personal data online. 

New data protection laws

It is in this context that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes in to force in 2018, aims to bring definition, clarity and accountability to data practice, and enforce transparency via a legal framework for a ‘Single Digital Market’. Marketers must recognise that GDPR isn’t a set of guidelines for best practice, it’s a new set of laws.

All private and public organisations that process the personal data of EU citizens will have to assess and change their approach to the data they hold. It also affects any company anywhere in the world doing business within the EU. For example, a UK company looking to a future outside of the EU, but still holding data about EU citizens, will still need to conform to the new laws. GDPR also extends to a company’s supply chain, which could mean a resource-consuming appraisal of data they – or their outsourced suppliers – already hold.

GDPR makes it crucial for businesses to get their house in order. Given consumer concerns about data, it also provides an opportunity for marketers to engage customers, and build trust and loyalty.

Take the data pledge

CIM’s Data Right campaign, launched on 19 April, urges organisations to take action on the issue of responsible management of customer data. It asks organisations to make a pledge to do four things:

  1. Be clear – tell consumers how you will use their data 
  2. Show the benefits – explain to consumers the many positive benefits of data collection
  3. Show Respect – make sure trust, honesty and transparency are at the heart of the relationship between your business and your customers
  4. Be in the know – continually familiarise yourself with the dos and don’ts of data rights, the law, such as the upcoming changes due to new GDPR legislation, and best practice 

Is your organisation ready to take the pledge and to uphold best practice when it comes to looking after customer data?

You can find out more about the Data Right campaign, and how to build customer trust, here.

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