UK businesses are drastically better at prioritising their consumers’ data privacy compared to before COVID according to Mine, a platform that connects businesses and consumers around privacy rights. Across the country, ignored data requests have gone down by 32% since the pandemic. The findings reveal businesses in the UK are increasingly compliant with GDPR and drastically improving when it comes to processing consumers’ right to be forgotten requests, i.e., requests to take back their information from a company or service.
As customers demand greater protection of their privacy, businesses are stepping up to meet regulations but still grappling with how to efficiently streamline and process requests; Mine’s insights found 9 out of 10 (92%) companies that have ignored data requests in the last year have a dedicated privacy address in place. Even with the right regulations in place and intentions to prioritise consumer privacy, insights revealed that in the last year, around 90,000 data reclaim requests sent by users in the UK were still ignored by companies. This shows there is still room for businesses to grow to ensure consumers’ requests are processed efficiently.
Across the UK, some industries proved more efficient than others when it came to consumers’ privacy and responding to right to be forgotten requests. High on the list for processing data reclaims were companies in the media and entertainment industry, meeting 60% of all requests, as well as investing platforms that also processed three-fifths of all data requests.
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The travel and insurance industries, in particular, prove most unlikely to give consumers back their data when requested. Keeping in mind some requests could be exempt for legal reasons, data revealed both these industries have ignored the highest number of requests, more than half of all consumers’ rights to claim back their data. This has happened despite the risk of fines off the back of GDPR and indicates an urgent need for businesses to find a streamlined way to process requests.
Gal Ringel, CEO, and co-founder of Mine says, “The onus lies with businesses to make sure the data they hold is kept safe and sound, and importantly, once a user is done using the service, there are simple steps in to efficiently implement their right to be forgotten.
Three years down the line and GDPR really is making a difference, with 32% more consumer data requests being actioned, just since COVID. Despite having the right regulations in place, businesses have the overwhelming responsibility of processing very large volumes of requests, many without optimised processes in place. Even with a dedicated privacy officer, the lack of streamlined processes to action privacy requests has meant a multitude of data reclaim requests are still being ignored to this day.
As well as the monetary consequences UK businesses face if they do not meet the requirements of GDPR, they face the risk of losing customer trust and brand damage. Especially because, increasingly, privacy is becoming an all-important brand value. Those businesses that flourish in the years to come will be the ones that have their users’ best interests at heart – in terms of privacy and beyond.”