NEWS9 June 2020

Industry concerns flagged over impact of government tracing

Covid-19 News Privacy UK

UK – A survey of data and marketing industry professionals from the Data & Marketing Association has highlighted concern over how the government’s Covid-19 tracing strategy could potentially affect willingness to share personal data.

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In the latest of a monthly study undertaken by the DMA, 42% of respondents were concerned that the ‘test, track and trace’ programme could have a negative impact on how willing people are to share their data in future.

Over half ( 59%) of those surveyed had concerns about how the government’s strategy could impact long-term consumer trust in how institutions use data, while 43% were concerned about the potential effect on trust in brands using personal data.

Concern about the impact of Covid-19 on business has also increased, according to the survey, with a third ( 33%) of respondents in May’s survey stating they are ‘very concerned’ – up from 24% in April.

The research was conducted via an online survey by the DMA of UK data and marketing industry professionals. It was fielded from 20th May-1st June and consisted of 82 responses.

Chris Combemale, chief executive of the DMA, said: “Businesses rely on consumer trust and a willingness to share data in order to build sustainable and rewarding relationships with their customers.

“The long-term effects of the UK government’s ‘test, track and trace’ programme on customer trust and public perception could have lasting damage on the data and marketing industry if it is mismanaged. Our latest survey has found that this is a big concern for a large number of businesses.”

Manual contact tracing systems are underway in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK government’s NHSX contact tracing app, which uses Bluetooth signals, is being trialled on the Isle of Wight.