“I accept” …but what does this mean?

The dust has settled after the implementation of GDPR. Despite the increased visibility and transparency of how companies handle data, there is still room to improve Nordic consumers’ general awareness of data privacy.

Information about data privacy has increased and become more transparent for consumers due to GDPR. However, Nordic consumers’ thoughts on whether companies use their data, or share it with third parties has hardly increased from last year.

This year 75 per cent of Nordic consumers believe that companies they interact with online use their personal data; this is the same percentage as in 2018. Only six per cent believe that companies are not using their data and almost one-fifth do not know whether they use it or not.

Use of personal data
Do you believe that the companies you interact with online use your personal data?

In addition, people are not always aware of what kind of personal information they share with companies while interacting with them online. Almost half (47 %) of Nordic consumers are aware that they share their name and email address - the basic information that is often needed, for instance, to sign up to services. Even though online shopping has become more common, only 15 per cent recognize sharing their purchase history.

Some variations between Nordic countries exist, as Norwegians seem to be slightly more aware of the information types they share, especially in the case of basic information such as name, address, email and phone number.

Despite the increased transparency, up to 21 per cent of Nordic consumers do not know what type of information they share; this has decreased by only two percentage points since 2017.

Concerns about how companies use, store and share personal data
To what extent, if at all, would you say you are concerned about how companies you interact with online...?

Data privacy also raises concerns, GDPR has resulted in more specific rules for companies to handle customer data, and this has naturally increased the visibility and transparency towards consumers. From the people who believe companies use their personal data, 37 per cent are fairly concerned and another 36 per cent very concerned about how companies share their data with third parties. However, the number of very concerned consumers is descending as the amount is eight percentage points lower than last year.

Even though there are still concerns about how companies handle personal data, it is not yet reflected in the behaviour of Nordic consumers. Half of the respondents ‘always’ or ‘almost always’ accept terms and conditions without reading them, and a total of 77 per cent do so at least sometimes.

Accepting terms and conditions without reading them
How often, if at all, do you accept terms and conditions without reading them?

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