Regaining Trust: It’s Not A GDPR Nightmare

Here comes GDPR, and if you collect or process the data of EU citizens, you’re probably knee deep in making sure your systems, processes, sub-contractors, friends, relatives and children are compliant. You can’t afford not to: if GDPR had been in effect last year, British companies would have been fined £69 million for data breaches rather than the fines they actually paid, which were just less than £1 million – Talk Talk’s penalty alone would have risen from £400,000 to £59 million[1].

Ouch. But to look at GDPR only as a compliance headache is to miss the point. The new rules are here because the previous generation of legislation and technology haven’t been up to the job of protecting our personal data. Organisational behaviour – including the wholesale trade in personal information – has undermined consumer trust reducing it to a crisis point: it’s the lowest ever measured by Edelman’s Trust Barometer[2].

It’s ironic that trust has collapsed at a time when everyone’s touting the age of the consumer. Connected, savvy, empowered, the new customer is meant to be in control, but there’s a truth inherent in the need for GDPR: we’re not there yet. The old ways prevail, and GDPR is the prescribed medicine..

A catalyst for change

While the GDPR is a stick to beat reluctant organisations into line on personal data protection, enlightened brands will look beyond the compliance issues and see an opportunity to rebuild consumer trust through organisational change.

At Thunderhead, we view GDPR as both a lens through which to reexamine the way organisations approach customer relationships, and the opportunity to create value – for brands and the customer – by moving to a business model that puts customer engagement at its core. In other words, we see GDPR as an opportunity for organisations to refocus on the customer, restoring trust and value to the relationship.

We’d like to tell you more about all this, and about our tools and expertise that can help make it a reality: take a look at our GDPR Spotlight paper if you’re interested. And if you want to know how to move beyond mere compliance to a visionary response based on effective customer engagement, please do get in touch.


1. Security: Last year’s ICO fines would be 79 times higher under GDPR

2. Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 – UK Findings