Which? launch new report ‘Control, Alt or Delete?'
The report, entitled ‘Control, Alt or Delete? The future of consumer data,’ discusses consumer attitude towards collection and use of personal data.
On Tuesday 5th June Which? published Control, Alt or Delete? The future of consumer data, their latest report on consumer attitudes towards the collection and use of personal data. The report sets out three calls for action:
- More transparency - Consumers and their advocates need more transparency about the impact that personal data has on their lives. Which? are calling on the new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation to take a lead on driving this.
- Tech check - The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation should review the governance of data in motion, with due attention given to creative ways to improve oversight and enforcement.
- Digital advertising - The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) should conduct a market study in to the digital advertising industry as a matter of urgency.
Speaking at the launch event, Tim Gardam, Chairman at Which? highlighted the widespread feeling of disempowerment amongst consumers who are unsure of the impact data collection, transfer and sharing has on their lives.
Despite challenges around privacy, transparency and accountability, Kenneth Cukier, Senior Editor at the Economist was confident that a world shift in attitudes towards the imperative use of data for public good would be quicker than we currently predict. In the future he felt that the failure to use personal data could become the moral equivalent of burning books.
The key themes of the report where then discussed in further detail through a panel discussion, chaired by Kate Bevan, Editor at Which? The panel included: Jaqueline de Rojas, techUK; Professor Irene Ng, University of Warwick; Stephen Deadman, Facebook; Kenneth Cukier, Senior Editor at the Economist and James Edgar, Which?
The panel discussed the potential impact of an erosion of public trust in data. Jaqueline de Rojas, President at techUK, spoke about the need to bring society along in this debate on data and the importance of personal accountability. “Every citizen should think before you click”. Stephen Deadman, Global Deputy Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook discussed the concept of having agents to help us manage data on our behalf, similar to how an accountant manages our finances. Tim Gardam, in his closing remarks, described public trust as residing in the balance between a businesses’ honesty and curiosity.
Commenting on the report, Jaqueline de Rojas, President at techUK said:
“It is reassuring to see Which? tackle these important issues head on and ensure that the consumer’s voice is heard loud and clear in this debate. The new and updated rights enshrined in GDPR should go a long way to giving consumers confidence in how their data is collected, used and managed.
“These rights will only be effective if they are fully understood by the public. That is why techUK is a strong supporter of the ‘Your data matters’ public education campaign launched by the ICO, and we are happy to see Which? recognise the important roles both the CMA and ICO have to play.
“This report represents an important contribution in the ongoing debate on how consumers can have trust and confidence around the data revolution which is underway and which will undoubtedly bring about huge benefits in every sector it touches.”
techUK will be exploring the issues raised in this report through our Digital Ethics Working Group. Members interested in being involved in this work should contact Katherine Mayes. Programme Manager I Cloud, Data, Analytics And AI, on 020 7331 2019
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