Circle Health joins data pledge

Circle Health has joined an initiative to encourage organisations to improve on the handling of personal information and be clearer to consumers about what their data is being used for.

The private healthcare provider has committed to being transparent with its patients about their data and the ‘positive benefits’ that data collection can bring to medical practice.

It has also pledged to ‘be-in-the-know’ about changes to data protection laws and best practice.

The campaign is led by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

According to its survey of 2,245 consumers and 500 marketers, 57% of consumers do not trust an organisation to use their data responsibly, while 41% of marketers do not fully understand the laws and best practice around using consumers’ personal data.

People are nervous about sharing personal data and fear data breaches.

‘The trust dynamic between consumers and organisations is on a knife’s edge, with consumers reporting that the values of honesty and integrity have been eroded when it comes to personal data … among the key reasons for this is that marketers are falling behind when it comes to legal knowledge, best practice, honesty, transparency and listening to consumers’, said CIM’s report.

However, two-thirds (67%) of consumers said they would be happy to provide more personal data if organisations were clear and transparent about how they plan to use it.

Chris Daly, CIM chief executive, said: ‘Businesses have a responsibility to their customers to be transparent, respectful and clear about how they use their personal information. Not only is this best data practice, but it ultimately will help their consumers feel more confident and enjoy the benefits of sharing more personal data.’

From 25 May, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation comes into effect for EU and non-EU organisations offering services within the EU.

Among other regulations, organisations will be required to keep records to evidence consent for the passing over of personal data.