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Personal Data Receipts: How transparency increases consumer trust

Posted 1 Mar 2018

Consumers are quite sceptical these days about giving up their personal data. And if they do, they certainly want to know who it’s going to be shared with and how it’s going to be used.

That said, those same consumers have trusted so far large internet tech giants to aggregate and use their personal data in return for free services. EU legislation, through directives such as the Data Protection Directive (1995) and the original ePrivacy Directive (1998), stated that personal data could only be processed lawfully and used legitimately. However, the lack of transparency and the limited user control offered by companies has rapidly undermined consumer trust.

Savvy consumers’ demand for trustworthiness and transparency is a key component of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Its primary aim is to rebuild consumers’ trust by:

  1. increasing transparency
  2. recognising users desire for more granular control of their data access and sharing, and
  3. guaranteeing a set of fundamental individual digital rights (including the right to rectification, erasure, data portability and restricted processing).

Businesses need to understand the implications of the upcoming GDPR and how that’s going to affect the collection and dissemination of personal data. This is why Digital Catapult has produced a paper outlining the benefits to organisations in developing a standardised Personal Data Receipt process that clearly demonstrates to customers just how their personal data will be used. As a top line overview, the paper defines best practices and provides guidance for the creation of PDRs with an objective to initiate an open conversation with companies and organisations that are interested in adopting them via a process of implementation, testing and refinement.