Businesses increasingly concerned about impact of ‘Test, track and trace’ on the digital economy

The latest ‘Coronavirus – The Impact on Business’ survey from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) reveals growing concerns about the impact of the pandemic and UK Government’s actions on the digital economy.

One of the most notable changes between surveys was an increase in the belief that coronavirus was harming public trust in brands and marketing – up to 29% in late June, from 17% in May.

Sentiment about the impact of the UK Government’s rollout of the ‘Test, track and trace’ programme on the data and marketing industry also continues to worsen. Over half (57%) of industry professionals now believe this will negatively impact consumers’ willingness to share personal data – up from 42% in May.

This may also explain the continued decline in confidence the data and marketing industry appears to have in government. In March, almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they were confident in the nation’s leaders, this has now halved to just 32% in June.

“Data is an essential part of both controlling the virus as lockdown is eased, but also the continued smooth running of the modern digital economy and recovery for many businesses in the UK,” says Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA. “Businesses rely on consumer confidence and trust; without which they are unwilling to share their data with organisations. It’s concerning to see the level of negative feeling toward the government’s handling of the ‘Test, track and trace’ rollout. If not resolved, this could have a lasting impact on our industry and the long-term health of the digital economy.”

As the hospitality industry re-opens, pubs, cafes, restaurants and hairdressers will have to store personal information of customers in case they need to be alerted to outbreaks. While this data may play a key role in controlling the virus, many of these businesses will be unfamiliar with gathering and storing data.

“These requirements will see many pubs, restaurants and cafes starting to gather and store personal data, which is perhaps something unfamiliar to them,” says John Mitchison, Director of Policy and Compliance at the DMA. “For this to be effective, the public need to trust that their data will be processed and used correctly. Businesses gathering data should consider the approach they take carefully.”

In light of these developments, DMA Member Promotigo (with Guest Visit) has launched solutions to relieve legal and practical burdens of the hospitality industry.

For full details on the DMA Coronavirus Survey, visit:
https://dma.org.uk/research/coronavirus-june-2020-the-impacts-on-business

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