GDPR - Coping With Demand
April 23, 2018

The countdown to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is almost over and will come into force on 25th May. The GDPR has been a long time coming by necessity of allowing organisations sufficient time to reinvent their data collection and protection policies and steps to compliancy have been well documented.

However, while it is necessary that any organisation that collects, stores or uses data on EU citizens follow the GDPR, there is likely to be an initial influx of requests for data information or deletion by existing data subjects. Sage have compiled statistics which not only identify the demographics most likely to request action regarding any data you have stored, but which industries should expect a higher volume of requests once GDPR is in effect.

Online Retailers Should Expect High Demand

The announcement of the GDPR has been celebrated by the general public and one in three EU citizens intend to exercise their rights to have their personal data deleted (“the right to be forgotten”) by online retailers or, at least, to request their data no longer be used for marketing purposes.

Thus, online retailers have a number of actions to take to ensure readiness. First, expect one-third of your customers to get in touch in the first few months following 25th May. Ready template e-mails so you can respond in a timely manner, update your software and policies to securely maintain personal data but access it quickly, and ensure your teams are big enough to handle a number of requests proportionate to your client list.

Secondly, data collection has become the standard strategy for online marketing, so removing up to a third of your subject data could potentially impact future sales. While you must ensure signing up to your mailing lists is clear, obvious and active (i.e. users need to check a box to sign up rather than uncheck it), you can put in place other measures to encourage users volunteer their personal data. Gently remind users when responding to their requests of the benefits you can offer them and place a clear pop-up on your homepage to invite new users to sign up.

Supermarkets and Political Organisations

While social media companies and online retailers can expect the highest initial demand (39% and 33%, respectively), supermarkets and political parties and associations should also expect up to 30% of those listed in their databases to be in touch.

While you can gently remind users of the benefits you can offer them by remaining on your mailing lists, the GDPR demands that, ultimately, the data subject gets the final say over what is done with their personal data.

Energy Suppliers and other industries

Energy suppliers are the last industry to expect high numbers of requests (approximately 28%). However, even industries not listed here should still expect requests. EU citizens have stated 21% of them intend to get in touch with their previous employers to request their data be deleted. Banks can expect a similar number of requests from their customers.

More mature demographics

It should be noted that older citizens, specifically 45-54 years, have voiced a larger desire to enact their rights; 21% intend to file data requests of some form in the first month of GDPR. Younger people (18-24 years) appear to be less concerned, with only 13% stating they plan to exercise their rights.

Consequently, those of you with more mature subjects among your databases should consider readying larger teams to cope with this initial influx of requests.

If you’d like to discuss what Etain can do to help you accommodate GDPR simply fill in your details below and we'll be in touch. Alternatively, feel free to give us a call on 028 90 87 2222

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