Research by broadband comparison website Broadband Genie has found the majority (62%) of the UK public don’t feel in control of data collected and stored about them by websites. Of those surveyed, 67% also believed they had been signed up to a mailing list without permission.
The General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on the 25th May 2018, introducing tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches and giving users more say over what happens to their data. Research carried out by the ICO shows that currently only 8% have a good understanding of how personal data is made available to third parties and the public by companies and organisations.
Dr Guy Bunker, SVP of Products at Clearswift, said: “A main driver of GDPR is to give individuals greater control over their data. Citizens will be given more information by a company about how they process their data and further down the line it should be easier for individuals to transfer personal data securely between service providers. Individuals can also request to be ‘forgotten’, which in most cases will mean removal from various marketing lists.
“The emphasis will be on individuals positively opting in to receive information, rather than by default. Organisations will also have to inform individuals in a timely manner if their data has been compromised. There will still be a need for individuals to understand what is happening with the information they provide, but there are improved means of redress when something goes awry.”
The survey also discovered 92% would report a company if they thought they were misusing their data. However a large proportion (60%) were unsure who to report this to.
Commenting on the survey findings, Rob Hilborn, Head of Strategy at BroadbandGenie.co.uk, said: “This type of legislation is long overdue. Most of us have no idea what data companies collect on us when we visit a website, where it’s sent and who it’s being shared with. GDPR is a step in the right direction in providing that extra layer of protection for web users.
“However, more needs to be done when it comes to educating the public on how to best keep safe online. Particularly now where breaches seem to happen on a daily basis. The public need to be given the tools and information to properly protect themselves and take action when needed. ”
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