Over three-quarters of Irish adults intend to activate new personal data rights under new EU law

77 per cent intend to activate new rights in May 2018 as the law is ratified

Over three-quarters (77 per cent) of adults living in the Republic of Ireland plan to activate new rights over their personal data, according to a poll* of 1,000 Irish adults commissioned by SAS. The poll explores the nation’s sentiment towards upcoming legislative change that empowers citizens with new rights over how their personal data is handled by organisations, including political parties, across a number of sectors. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of adults surveyed expressed their intention to activate their new rights in the same month that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018.

The 25-to-34-year-old age group is most likely to issue a request, with nearly a third (30 per cent) thinking they will activate their new rights in the first month. The propensity to submit a request drops to 17 per cent in the 18-to-24-year-old age category. There are regional variations, with 84 per cent of adults in Connacht intending to access personal data held on them. This drops to 74 per cent in both Munster and the rest of Leinster, 69 per cent in Dublin and 65 per cent in Ulster. In Connacht, 74 per cent of adults welcome the right to completely erase their personal data from certain systems, followed by 69 per cent in Munster, 67 per cent in Ulster, 65 per cent in the rest of Leinster and 61 per cent in Dublin.

The poll revealed which rights Irish adults would welcome most:

  • 73 per cent welcomed ‘the right to access’ (e.g. get a copy of personal data held about them)
  • 66 per cent welcomed ‘the right to erasure’ (e.g. erase personal data from certain systems)
  • 63 per cent welcomed ‘the right to rectification’ (e.g. if personal data is inaccurate or incomplete)
  • 62 per cent welcomed ‘the right to restrict processing’ (e.g. if they contest accuracy of data)
  • 58 per cent welcomed ‘the right to object’ (e.g. using data for marketing and profiling)
  • 51 per cent welcomed ‘rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling’ (e.g. the right to seek human intervention following an automated decision they disagree with)
  • 46 per cent welcomed ‘the right to data portability’ (e.g. obtaining and re-using data)

Compliance with the new data rights, which promote openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals, is said to be proving challenging for organisations. Gartner recently warned that by the end of 2018 at least 50 per cent of companies will not be in full compliance with the regulations.

The consumer poll also explored which Irish organisations would receive a request to remove or provide access to personal data - with social media companies, insurers, banks and political parties ranking top of the list.

 Percentage of consumers who will request for personal data to be removedPercentage of consumers who will request access to personal data
Social media compaines62%47%
Insurance compaines42%45%
Political parties and organisations43%33%
Energy suppliers35%35%
Employers/previous employers32%38%

“Finding ‘customer zero’ is a huge challenge for some organisations. Personal data is often stored in thousands of databases and organisations will need to find, evaluate and categorise every piece of data relating to each customer to ensure compliance,” said Charles Senabulya, Vice President and Country Manager for SAS UK & Ireland. “Organisations will need to be prepared to manage the volume of response from individuals making requests over their data – and that includes employees. Overcoming this challenge presents an opportunity for organisations as they form a new type of relationship with customers and employees that is bound by integrity, understanding and respect for their individual choices. We are entering a new data era that requires a firm grip of customer data. One that rewards consumers as well as protects their right to privacy.”

The poll also asked consumers what information they were prepared to share with their favourite brands or organisations, so they could benefit from improved or tailored services. It revealed that only a minority would voluntarily share what their friends and relatives like or dislike (eight per cent), political preferences (10 per cent), insight into their credit rating (10 per cent), details on their social media activity (11 per cent), information on their feelings or emotions (12 per cent) or opinions on societal issues (19 per cent). In contrast:

  • 56 per cent would share basic demographics (e.g. age, gender, social economic group)
  • 34 per cent would share personal contact details (e.g. postcode, mobile number)
  • 34 per cent would share shopping habits (e.g. store preference, shopping days)
  • 33 per cent would share lifestyle and culture (e.g. interests, shopping habits, holidays)
  • 29 per cent would share partner status (e.g. married, single, widowed)
  • 29 per cent would share their favourite brands
  • 26 per cent would share media preference (e.g. type of newspapers/publications)
  • 19 per cent would share sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability

* The survey of 1,000 Irish consumers was conducted by OnePoll, between 24 and 26 May 2017.

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Editorial contacts:

David Smith
01628 490 433

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