According to one of the latest Eurobarometers – the ongoing series of public opinion surveys conducted on behalf of the European Commission, only around 15% of us feel we have complete control over the information we provide about ourselves online. And a staggering 31% of respondents feel they have no control over it at all.

Which is perhaps why the Commission has been such an enthusiastic champion of the new General Data Protection Regulations, or GDPR for short, which come into law in May 2018.

However, are we really as worried about what happens to our data as the Commission seems to believe?

As Alexandra Frean, Business Columnist at The Times put it in a recent article, “One of the biggest conundrums facing business in Europe is that while consumers say they care about having control over their personal data online, they give it away free all the time. Economists call this the ‘privacy paradox’ and resolving it is arguably one of the biggest challenges for businesses as they prepare for data protection rules due to come into force next May.” You only need to look at how regularly and how willingly users add personal information to platforms such as Xing and LinkedIn to see what she is getting at.

Of course, the attitude to the control and management of private data is not just unique to every individual, but also seems to be influenced by such significant factors such as age and local culture. Many young people, wherever they are based, seem to have an almost cavalier attitude to their data, having grown up in a world where sharing practically every detail of their private lives is the norm. Yet, across the board in a country like Germany, which has some of the most stringent privacy protection laws on the planet, many citizens still make payment in shops and restaurants in cash as they are unwilling to be tracked by the algorithms behind electronic payment systems that in somewhere like Japan, for example, are simply accepted as an everyday part of life.

What, therefore, seems to be necessary post-May 2018 are tools which will enable users to both enjoy the protections brought in by GDPR, while avoiding any of the potentially damaging unintended consequences (for more detail on this see our report based on a survey of over 350 search firms worldwide – Unintended Consequences – Why GDPR could move executive careers into the slow lane around the globe). 

That’s why we’ve developed GatedTalent, a global platform that will allow ambitious executives and professionals to engage with the search firms of their choice on an ongoing basis, keeping them up-to-date on their abilities, experience and goals in an iterative and completely secure environment. The aim is to create a platform that will enable talented individuals to add selected search firms to their established roster of trusted professional partners with obvious benefits for their long-term career development.

For more details on how this pathway for the very best of the world’s ‘gated talent’ could work for you visit the platform now here.