Everyone’s favourite piece of legislation, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), turned one at the weekend. With it brought the promise of tough new data laws in the EU to give people more control over the data being collected on them. To mark the occasion, we’ve run a LightBox Pulse in partnership with OnePulse, to see whether Brits actually think this is now the case.

It’s rare in an industry such as ours that most people haven’t been impacted by GDPR, or at least have a vague comprehension of what it stands for. However, 3 in 10 Brits claim that they still don’t really understand what GDPR is, despite many companies having to ask consumers last year to review their updated privacy policies.

A further half of adults think that GDPR has made no real difference to them personally. That’s not surprising, given that 1 in 3 still feel that online ads are intrusive, despite GDPR, with a similar number believing that GDPR has made no difference to how Facebook behaves.

It may be for this reason that 1 in 5 Brits have found GDPR to be an anti-climax. The information commissioner’s office (ICO) has logged 14,000 data breaches since these new data laws were put in place. However, in the UK, no fine has yet been issued under GDPR (Google was fined in France). According to Richard Breavington, partner at law firm RPC, the ICO has “… barely scratched the surface of it’s powers” – and Brits seem to be more than aware of this.

However, the younger generation (18-24s) is the most optimistic about the impact GDPR has had, with 2 in 5 believing that positive changes have occurred as a result of the regulation laws (+4pts on all adults). A further 2 in 5 also believe that companies are now asking for their consent before storing their data (+5pts on all adults).

A year in and brands are also identifying positive changes that have come about as a result of GDPR, when previously there was seemingly only frustration and confusion, plus a big hit on many of their CRM resources. Brands are now being more targeted, sending fewer but more relevant emails, and seeing better open rates as a result.

Whilst GDPR hasn’t been as impactful as expected in many consumers’ eyes, brands are reaping the rewards that come from better quality data and (hopefully) more respectful ways of using it



Lightbox Pulse in partnership with OnePulse, May 2019