Businesses must manage data privacy effectively | KPMG | QA
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Businesses must manage data privacy effectively or risk losing customers and breaking the law

Businesses must manage data privacy effectively

New report from KPMG shows companies are failing to see privacy as a fundamental business priority and risk crossing the ‘creepy line’


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New report from KPMG shows companies are failing to see privacy as a fundamental business priority and risk crossing the ‘creepy line’

Data privacy is a hot topic in Qatar and high on the agenda for government and many leading businesses and organizations. Law No. 13 of 2016 concerning privacy and protection of personal data, which was recently signed by the Emir, clearly sets out that businesses must take responsibility for protecting customers’ personal information or be prepared to face tough consequences. But the consequences aren’t only the threat of legal action.

Customers and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how businesses use their data and are considering this when choosing who to shop with and procure services from according to a new report from KPMG  International, entitled "Crossing the Line: Staying on the right side of consumer privacy."

The report highlights that while consumers are willing to embrace
technology in order to improve their lives, many are becoming increasingly wary of organisations which collect and retain their information, begging the question when does "helpfully close" cross the line?

Among the key findings are:

• Less than 10 per cent of consumers feel they have control over the way
organisations handle and use their personal data today.

• 82 per cent are not comfortable with the sale of their data to
third-parties in exchange for the speed, convenience, product range, home
delivery and price comparison that online shopping offers

• The top three concerns about the way organisations are handling and
using personal information are:

o   Unwanted marketing (59 per cent)

o   Personal information being sold on to third-parties (58 per cent)

o   Lack of secure systems (55 per cent)

• Just 50 per cent would accept free or cheaper products in exchange for less privacy

Commenting on the findings, Duncan Mackay, Partner at KPMG in Qatar said: "In Qatar, most residents are likely to have been plagued with spam SMS at one time or another and many will be  relieved to know that the government is  taking steps to counter this activity and to protect other consumer data they share. However, to maintain customer loyalty and
ensure legal compliance, it is crucial that businesses accurately assess whether they are handling customer information in a safe and secure way.  Failure to address the data security issue can seriously damage a business, as both customers and regulators are paying an increasing amount of attention to how organisations collect, store and use personal data. This study highlights how consumers value privacy over convenience so companies which are seeking to use personal data to personalize
marketing, build brand loyalty and develop better products need to be acutely aware of this."

To view additional information about the study, please visit You can also follow the conversation @KPMG on






©2018 KPMG LLC, a limited liability company registered with Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA), State of Qatar and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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