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The GDPR Hasn't Affected People's Experience with Brands

But the new law is getting them to pay attention to their data

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was created to give people more control over their own data. Two months after the law became enforceable, data protection complaints have skyrocketed. However, most people believe that the regulation hasn’t affected their experience with brands.

In an August 2018 survey of 1,155 UK consumers conducted by Marketing Week and Toluna, two-thirds of respondents said that the GDPR has had no impact on their experience with brands. About half of the respondents surveyed were unsure if the companies that utilize their personal data were breaching the GDPR, which became enforceable on May 25 and stipulates that a person’s data can only be used if they give a company explicit permission.

Nearly six in 10 internet users in the UK said that since the GDPR went into effect, they’ve developed a better understanding of how companies use their personal data. The increased attention people are giving to their personal data is reflected in the number of complaints that European regulators receive.

The UK data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) received 6,281 complaints between May 25 and July 3. By comparison, during that same time frame in 2017, the office received just 2,417 complaints. These figures show that the complaints the ICO receives have more than doubled since the GDPR went live.