How is the processing of personal data a new challenge for companies?

3 January 2018
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Companies face the expectations of individuals regarding the processing of personal data


Personal data processing: between ignorance and mistrust


Security, information and transparency are more than ever major challenges that companies have to face in order to stand out by meeting individuals’ expectations regarding the processing of their personal data.

It is the result of a social demand“, declared Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, then president of the CNIL, about the GDPR six months after its entry into force. This statement was confirmed by an Ifop survey revealing that 81% of French people are attentive to the way their personal data is handled when they are on the Internet. This attention sometimes turns into mistrust towards organizations, according to a study conducted by Rsa Security, which indicates that only 45% of them think that companies can use their personal data ethically, and 51% of them hold companies responsible in case of leakage or loss of their data.

Furthermore, those who think that the data collected allows companies to provide better services are only 28%… This mistrust is perhaps partly due to a lack of knowledge among the population about the use of this data and the laws currently governing this area. Conducted in 2018, the Ifop survey indeed mentioned that only 46% of citizens knew their rights in terms of data protection, and among the 42% who had already heard about the GDPR, only 9% saw precisely what it was about.


Gaining customer trust: a major challenge


More recently, the Rsa Security report reveals that a quarter of respondents feel they have a better understanding of their data protection than they did last year, and are taking more time to read the data consent. Only 18% believe they have a better understanding of the data they agree to share. One of the challenges for professionals today is to show that they are involved in securing and processing their customers’ personal data, and also respect their rights and choices as communicated through the consent forms.

Indeed, 36% of individuals say that the most important thing that could strengthen their confidence in the protection of personal data would be better information provided by the services that collect it, and 21% would be clear and easy-to-understand terms and conditions of use. These figures suggest that a company that chooses to move towards transparency and ethical handling of personal data, while making a point of informing its prospects, would find multiple benefits.


A good treatment of personal data in companies: a plus for individuals

A way to personalize the customer experience


The French seem to appreciate the benefits of efficient processing of their personal data, starting with the personalization of their customer experience, which influences the purchase decision of 86% of users, and increases the probability of purchase by 125% according to Infosys. Indeed, Adobe and Goldsmiths report that in terms of business performance, companies that focus on consumer insights and being in tune with their needs would outperform those with more traditional approaches by 14%. This is partly due to the fact that 68% of shoppers say they are loyal to brands that offer them experiences that are personalized to their needs and preferences. And while 40% would like to have a relationship with such companies, 58% appreciate it when companies know their preferences so they can use them to personalize their experience across channels.


Towards processing personal data in line with individuals’ expectations


However, the use of data by professionals is still far from optimal, to the point of regularly disappointing individuals… Sitecore reveals that companies in France collect on average 9 different types of data about consumers, a quantity that is too large for them to analyze or use properly: 96% of users consider that they offer poor personalization, and 18% of them mention their lack of skills necessary for the exploitation and therefore the processing of personal data they collect.


The majority of people seem to approve of the use of some of their data, as long as it is collected properly, i.e. in accordance with their choices and in a secure manner. Indeed, they would greatly appreciate to benefit from the advantages of their data processing, between personalization of services and adaptation of the user experience. A company able to play the transparency card and inform customers and prospects by demonstrating a certain level of security and optimization in the use of their personal data would therefore clearly stand out, and would derive many benefits from this strategy.


In order to help them follow this path, Fair&Smart offers organizations solutions for managing consents and responding to GDPR requests.


If you would like to learn more about Fair&Smart and our personal data management solutions, click on the button below:

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