More European citizens are aware of data privacy rights, survey shows


A survey created on behalf of the European Commission (EC) has found that more EU citizens are becoming more aware of the bloc’s data privacy rules. 

The study, named the Eurobarometer report, was commissioned to mark the first birthday of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Among key findings was that 73% of the 27,000 European respondents were able to highlight at least one of the six privacy rights embedded within the GDPR.

Awareness of the data subject’s right to access data was recognised by 65% of those polled, while 57% of respondents said they knew about their right to have their data erased.

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, said:

“Helping Europeans regain control over their personal data is one of our biggest priorities. But, of the 60% [of] Europeans who read their privacy statements, only 13% read them fully.

“This is because the statements are too long or too difficult to understand. I once again urge all online companies to provide privacy statements that are concise, transparent and easily understandable by all users. I also encourage all Europeans to use their data protection rights and to optimise their privacy settings.”

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market said:

“European citizens have become more aware of their digital rights and this is encouraging news.

“However, only three in 10 Europeans have heard of all their new data rights. For companies, their customers’ trust is hard currency and this trust starts with the customers’ understanding of, and confidence in, privacy settings.

“Being aware is a precondition to being able to exercise your rights. Both sides can only win from clearer and simpler application of data protection rules.”

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