Almost a third of the UK public want political parties to erase their data

• 30 per cent of UK consumers polled object to political parties using their data for profiling and marketing
• Nine in 10 guard their political preferences from brands

Almost a third (30 per cent) of the general public would welcome the right to get their personal data erased from records held by political parties and associated organisations, according to a poll[1] of UK attitudes commissioned by SAS. With political parties increasingly targeting voters based on demographic and psychographic information, the study investigated attitudes around how voters' personal data is being handled by political parties, alongside their willingness to share political preferences.

The research reveals that the older you get, the more likely you are to want your data erased from political party records. Just 17 per cent of 18-34-year-olds would want their data erased from political parties. Yet, this rises to 25 per cent of 35-44-year-olds, and then to 37 per cent for those aged over 45 years. Just over one in five (22 per cent) of those aged over 25 would also welcome the right to regain access to any of their personal data held by political parties and organisations. Interestingly, this drops to one in 10 in the 18-24-year-olds category.

Nearly a third (30 per cent) of consumers want to ask political parties to stop using their data or historical research for profiling and marketing purposes. Those in the South East (37 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (31 per cent) are the most likely to ask political parties to stop using their data for marketing purposes. By contrast, Londoners are the least likely to ask political parties to stop using their data for marketing purposes, with just 24 per cent interested in having their data removed. The South West is in consensus with London at 26 per cent.

"Political parties are increasingly turning to sophisticated micro-targeting techniques to target voters with tailored messages but need to get to a consensus of one when it comes to personal data," said Charles Senabulya, Vice President and Country Manager for SAS UK & Ireland. "It is no longer enough to establish one data capture and analytical policy that works for everyone. Individuals have different attitudes over how their data is used. It is imperative that political parties understand how each voter wants their data to be used and honour that wish. This is no longer a nice to have, come May 2018 this will be law in the UK[2]."

When it comes to sharing their political preference with their favourite brands in return for an upgraded service, just eight per cent would be willing to share their political preference and seven per cent would share their voting history. Consumers in Wales (12 per cent), North East (11 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (10 per cent) were the most willing to share their political preference with brands, with one in ten prepared to share their alliance for preferential service and discounts.


The survey of 2,000 UK consumers was conducted by OnePoll, between 24 and 26 May 2017.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the European Union empowers consumers with new rights over how their personal data is handled by organisations. It comes into force on 25 May 2018. For further information go to: GDPR: Comply while staying Competitive

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