US consumers want stricter data protection laws

The incoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect in the European Union on May 25, 2018, has raised the issue of data protection globally. Wide-reaching in scope, the GDPR applies to all EU organizations, and to non-EU organizations that monitor the behavior of, or offer goods and services to, EU residents. As companies around the world prepare for the Regulation, HarrisX has asked American consumers their thoughts on data privacy.

According to the survey, based on a sample of 2,546 US adults, 83% of respondents think tougher regulations and penalties are needed for data privacy breaches. 62% think the government will start this within the next few years.

Little faith in Facebook

Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of Facebook users’ data has heavily impacted perceptions of the social media platform. When asked whether social media platforms should be ‘heavily regulated’, ‘lightly regulated’ or ‘not at all regulated’, Facebook received the highest proportion of ‘heavily regulated’ votes at 49%. The most trusted company is Microsoft, with just 26% saying it should be heavily regulated.

The majority of respondents (64%) supported the idea of regulating Facebook like a traditional media company if it continues to distribute news on the platform. More than 75% selected ‘a little’ or ‘not at all’ when asked if they trust Facebook to use AI to police bad content.

Overall, Facebook scored poorly in comparison to other social media platforms and technology companies against factors such as “is good for the world”, “is good for democracy”, “protects against election interference”, “cares about privacy”, and “protects my personal information”.

Consumer trust is valuable, and complying with the GDPR is an excellent way to gain it. As well as allowing you to do business with the EU, the stringent new data protection law provides security and clarity for customers.

Start your GDPR compliance project by enrolling your project team on our Certified EU GDPR Foundation and Practitioner Combination Course, available in classroom (New York and Boston), Live Online, and distance learning formats.