London Economics at the ICO’s Data Protection Practitioners’ Conference 2018

April 10, 2018

The ICO’s Data Protection Practitioners’ Conference 2018 took place on Monday 9 April at the Manchester Central Conference Centre.

Moritz Godel presented LE research carried out last year for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the benefits of personal data rights under the GDPR. The work on  produced two important insights: the existence, rather than the exercise, of rights matters to consumers; and fines are the most valuable new element of GDPR for consumers.

The research used a choice experiment to overcome the well-known problem that consumers’ stated preferences for enhanced data protection are often at odds with observed behaviour, where consumers are typically happy to share data as part of normal commercial transactions.

The findings make sense when we consider data breaches as a cost imposed on consumers by companies and fines as a way to make companies bear the true cost. That data protection law functions in this way is consistent with the evidence that consumer trust bounces back after companies experience data breaches.

Recognising the role of data protection law in supporting the digital economy through accountability paves the way for more effective trust-building measures by businesses and regulators.

A recording of the presentation is available here.