Sally Nicholls Writes for Greenbook on Data Scandals in the Age of GDPR
On 10th January 2020, GreenBook published an article written by FlexMR Insight Manager, Sally Nicholls. In the article, Data Scandals in the Age of GDPR: Changing our Perceptions of Data, Sally points out the negative impacts of how both consumers and insight professionals view data at the moment, and what we can do to protect sensitive data.
Since May 2018, GDPR has been well and truly embedded into data protection conversations, and has become the ultimate safety net. But we still don’t read the terms and conditions, so while we think we’re giving data of our own accord, it’s clear that our data isn’t truly in our control. So, what can we do to recognise the value of our personal data, and take measures to protect it from future exploitation?
Data Scandals in the Age of GDPR: Changing our Perceptions of Data
Recognising the reason why we still have data scandals is the key first step to changing perceptions. Action laden in solid reason is more likely to spread and become an ingrained habit than action without reason. With consumers not knowing what data they’re handing over, what data is being collected from them and how it could be abused is a critical failing, and allows for this misperception of data to be perpetuated subconsciously.
Data as a Hygiene Factor
Sally states that data is currently viewed as a ‘hygiene factor’, as a necessity and a norm for businesses. How the businesses handles and uses a data is what sets them apart from the rest, as if respecting someone else’s data is an added bonus rather than a prerequisite expectation for obtaining the data. There are a number of issues that arise by treating data as a hygiene factor, and most of these issues arise through the perception of data that this treatment perpetuates: that while data is a necessary concern, a fundamental but intangible aspect that everyone has to manage, not everyone knows how to do it in the best way. So, if we were to change this perception, what should we change it to?
Data as a Currency
Treating data as a currency rather than a hygiene factor will instigate a necessary shift in the consumers’ perception of data, and will result in them truly seeing the worth that their data has to businesses. Data can be treated as money, with the same protective attitude and decision-making processes that come with this new perception, and the impacts that will arise from this could force businesses to treat data with more respect, more reverence, and more importance than hygiene.
Want to find out more? Check out Sally’s full article and argument here.
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