Consumers in Ireland are being encouraged to become more data conscious after new research unveiled today reveals a low level of awareness of data protection rights and the limit to which citizens protect their privacy online.

The study, carried out by iReach to mark the first day of the Data Summit, has discovered that almost half of consumers in Ireland make no regular attempt to read terms and conditions of data use online. This is despite research showing that 86% of consumers say they make an effort to protect their privacy online.

Consumers also appear to be unfamiliar with their data protection rights, which are being significantly enhanced by the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into effect from the 25th May 2018. 72% of citizens have limited or no understanding of their data protection rights, while nearly three-quarters do not know that under the GDPR they can seek compensation if their rights are breached.

In the context of Ireland’s data-driven future, consumers are being encouraged to be more aware of how their personal data is used and become more conscious in how they manage their privacy online. Although the GDPR is due to enhance protections for processing personal data, consumers are required to take personal responsibility for the information they put into the public domain via the Internet.

The Data Summit, which begins today in the Convention Centre, is being organised by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Government Data Forum and provides an important milestone in bringing greater public awareness to consumers’ data protection rights and also their responsibilities.