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GDPR surveyed, one year on

Despite the coming into law of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, research suggests UK consumers don’t feel their personal information is any safer. In fact, most, 84 per cent of respondents don’t think GDPR has been taken seriously enough by organisations who hold their data, and its security is still an issue.

According to the firm behind the survey, the fingerprint sensor manufacturer IDEX Biometrics Asa, this highlights the need for UK businesses to make it clearer to their customers that they are prioritising GDPR compliance.

Current poor data security practices, such as using locally held PINs or passwords, can leave data easily vulnerable to breaches, and fully justifies the fears held by consumers about the safety of their information, it’s claimed. Indeed, three quarters (75 per cent) of consumers admit to being concerned about the security of their personal information, once it has been shared with a company.

However, consumer trust in personal data protection greatly differs depending on the market sector. Almost half (45pc) would be most comfortable sharing their personal information with financial service organisations, yet only 15pc would say the same about sharing it with hospitality companies (such as bars and restaurants). This suggests organisations that are historically heavily regulated are typically more trusted by consumers. Illustrating the even greater need for companies operating outside these sectors to demonstrate data protection policies are watertight. Only by doing so will they gain consumer confidence in their compliance processes.

Biometrics, IDEX says, are an effective means to address these concerns. Recent advances in applying fingerprint biometric sensors to smart cards and devices mean authentication credentials are only held on the card itself, removing the need to store data in a central database which is vulnerable to breaches and a potential entry point for hackers.

David Orme, Senior Vice President at IDEX Biometrics says: “We are now one year into a post-GDPR world and our research clearly shows that consumers don’t feel their data is safer for it. Considering the level of trust consumers put in companies to protect their personal information, businesses across all sectors need to address the distinct lack of belief that personal information is more secure because of GDPR.”

“Banks need to ensure they don’t become complacent but continue to live up to consumer faith by remaining vigilant regarding data protection. No matter what the sector, companies need to be more transparent in their approach to data security and embrace fingerprint biometric authentication to improve compliance measures and drive consumer confidence. After all consumer trust and retention is key to creating a competitive edge for any business.”


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