News

A study on the GDRP

June 2018

The European netID Foundation has published the results of a survey on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) conducted by the market research team at IP Deutschland on behalf of the European netID Foundation.

The survey was conducted on 7 and 8 June among 1,081 adult respondents aged between 16 and 59. The vast majority of Germans (87 per cent) have heard about the new EU-wide rules on the protection of personal data. However, one in every two people does not know in detail what these rules actually mean for them. Only 17 per cent of respondents believe their data is now better protected than it was before.

To meet the requirements of the GDPR, companies, self-employed persons, authorities and associations have reviewed their privacy policy and made it more transparent. But 65 per cent of respondents feel this information is too extensive, complicated and difficult to understand.

Since the GDPR entered into force, many websites have started increasingly informing their visitors about the use of cookies. These small text files stored on the user’s local computer serve, for example, to personalise content and advertising and optimise displays of shop offers. One in two people accepts these cookies by clicking on “OK”, without reading the accompanying explanation. That said, almost the same number of users delete their cookies at least once a week.

“The entry into force of the GDPR has led to the Internet being flooded with cookie warnings. Many users simply respond by confirming cookie use. But the problem is that many users then automatically or manually delete their cookies, thereby retracting their consent. And their surfing experience suffers as a result. Because each time a visitor lands on a page, the cookies have to be accepted, again and again,” says Jan Oetjen, a Member of the Management Board of United Internet and Chairman of the Board of the European netID Foundation.


Jan Oetjen

The majority of respondents (61 per cent) believe that companies will collect just as much data in future as they have done in the past, but will present that information more transparently. US companies have also adapted their privacy policy to the new EU Regulation. When asked specifically about the effects of the GDPR on US-based Internet companies, 58 per cent of respondents expect it to have no effect. Almost one in five respondents (19 per cent) believe that these companies will go on to become even more powerful. 17 per cent suspect they will lose users.

Asked what they want from companies and the GDPR, 63 per cent of respondents say greater transparency about which data are harvested. In addition, 45 per cent want standardised solutions that store and use personal consents on all websites.

“The respondents’ wishes make it clear that website operators need to explain more clearly to their users why they need their personal data. Most users would like to see clear, user-friendly management of their consents to harvest data, based on a uniform standard. This would underpin their data sovereignty while improving the browsing experience,” says Jan Oetjen.


About the European netID Foundation
The European netID Foundation was founded in March 2018 by Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, ProSiebenSat.1 and United Internet with the brands Web.de and GMX. As an independent entity, the aim of the Foundation is to help internet providers across all sectors implement the new European data protection legislation. To this end, it created the open industry log-in standard netID. The Foundation’s single sign-on solution establishes an overarching Internet registration and login procedure. The objective is to provide a simple, secure solution that organises user consents, or opt-ins, for the use of Internet services in compliance with data protection and transparency requirements. Using their netID, users can access the Internet services offered by the European netID Foundation and its partners using the same login data, across all sectors. The Foundation is monitoring adherence to the standard as well the standard’s further development. It is also open to the participation of other partners and to other initiatives. The open login standard, or netID, will be launched in the summer. Between them, the Foundation’s founders reach around 50 million internet users.

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