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Consumers to gain new data rights as Government confirms changes

10 August 2017 - 22:29 by Graham Miller

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This week the Government reaffirmed its commitment to updating regulations which impact the way personal data can be used and managed in the UK, effectively empowering consumers who want to carry out safe shopping online with the right to choose how retailers harness private information.

Internet Retailing reports that while it is still at least 10 months until the changes come into effect, the upshot will be that Brits will be able to ask the companies which store their details to delete them entirely rather than allowing them to linger on their systems.

Another benefit is that transferring the data between firms will be simplified, so when it comes to setting up a new account with a retailer to carry out safe shopping online, there should be less admin involved.

Retailers will be forced to remove features currently in use which means customers often have to actively opt out of allowing their data to be shared with third parties or used for marketing purposes. Plenty of consumers overlook this, but it is a bone of contention for privacy campaigners, so many will be glad to see the practice outlawed.

Government spokesperson, Matt Hancock, said that these changes would ensure that shoppers could buy online with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they can request for their data to be erased if necessary and also assured that regulators would be able to take action if the rules are flouted by any organisation.

Experts argue that giving people greater control over their information will ultimately benefit retailers and other businesses, even if there are some teething troubles to overcome in the short term once the legislation is introduced. This is especially relevant in the wake of Brexit, as politicians and enterprise leaders, alike, are keen to bolster consumer confidence.