Southampton people will be queuing up to get their personal data edited or deleted once the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, a survey has revealed.
The regulation, which arrives on May 25, will give all EU citizens greater rights over their personal data.
This includes a right to ask for their data to be edited or deleted – as part of a so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ or ‘right to erasure’.
Businesses in the region are now bracing themselves for exactly what this means and how much it will cost them.
A survey by Crown Records Management, global information management experts, has revealed some stunning results when it comes to how many people could ask for their data to be removed or altered. And it seems those living in Southampton are some of the most determined to protect their data.
The results revealed:
- An incredible 76% living in Southampton said they could ask for their data to be edited or deleted after May 25, placing it in the top four nationally.
- More than quarter, 26%, said they would definitely ask for data to be edited or deleted. Again, this was one of the highest figures in the UK.
- Other regions returned very different results. In Liverpool only 65% will ask for personal data to be edited – and only 18% in Plymouth said they definitely would do so.
- Nationally, 71% said they would (either definitely or possibly) ask a company to edit or delete their data when the new regulation comes into force. In an adult UK population of 52.6 million this could result in an incredible 37.3 million requests.
- Only 8% across the nation gave a straight ‘no’ when asked if they would want data edited or deleted. The figure in Southampton was slightly higher at 8.5%.
David Fathers, regional general manager at Crown Records Management which has offices in Brunel Way, Fareham, said: “We were all aware that the public is increasingly interested in how their personal data is used and increasingly aware of its value and the dangers of its misuse.
“But for so many people in Southampton to indicate they will ask for data to be edited or deleted will come as a shock to many businesses in the region.
“It is hard to speculate why those on the south coast are more concerned about personal data than other regions. Southampton has a large marine and tourist industry but is also one of 11 Genomic Medicine Centres in the UK, so data is certainly an issue in the region.
“The bottom line is that there could be a big challenge ahead for UK businesses. Even if only the quarter of people nationwide who answered ‘definitely’ follow through with that intention to ask for their data to be edited then we could be looking at more than 16 million requests nationwide – which is an eye-watering figure.”
The type of data those in Southampton will want edited or deleted was interesting, too.
Data held for financial, banking and credit card information came out op on 67%, followed by 66% for data held for marketing and mailing lists.
“These were the top two answers in most cities,” said Fathers. “But people in Southampton were also concerned about health data on 60 per cent, which is telling.
“This shows just how many types of personal data are under discussion here. Few businesses will be unaffected.
“Companies in Southampton should already know what data they have, where it is, how it can be accessed and how it can be edited – but the GDPR regulations will make this mandatory. A full data audit now before the regulation comes in is the very minimum required to start the preparation process.
“There are also significant budget implications to consider if they are going to cope with the volume of requests which come their way.”