How Harsh Must Industry Regulations Be?

As U.S. regulators prepare to pounce on Facebook and other tech titans, we are learning more about the impact of regulatory efforts around the world.

A year after GDPR took effect, for example, new research suggests the European Union's data protection and privacy initiative may not have gone far enough.

Worldwide, only 8% of consumers say they have gained a better understanding of how companies use their data since GDPR was introduced, according to a report from Ogury.

A majority (52%) of consumers also say they still don't understand how their data is used by tech companies from Facebook to Google -- even after reading consent forms and privacy policies -- the cloud-based mobile marketing services firm found.

Such findings could potentially influence the FTC, which just secured the rights to investigate Facebook.

If regulators determine that GDPR-like measures fail to achieve their stated ends, they might look for more aggressive measures to rein in tech giants and their dominant market positions.



For its findings, Ogury said it surveyed more than a quarter of a million consumers in the United States, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France.

“GDPR has not been taken seriously enough by organizations,” Thomas Pasquet, co-founder and CEO of Ogury, concludes in the report.

“These might be disheartening numbers for lawmakers and regulators, who will have no doubt hoped for a far greater level of understanding from the very consumers that GDPR is designed to protect,” Pasquet added.

The study's findings further indicate that businesses have not properly instituted a requirement for explicit and informed user consent for data collection and usage.

The survey also revealed that when given an explicit choice, 71% of respondents globally would be prepared to share data from their mobile apps and website usage as well as contact details, as an alternative to paying for access to apps and online content.

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