How the New GDPR May Affect Augmented Reality Adoption in the EU

Clifton Dawson, Principal Analyst Insight Articles

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  • The European Union’s (EU’s) new General Data Protection Regulation will empower citizens
  • Shipments of head-worn AR devices used by consumers will benefit from this regulation, growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77.3 percent, from more than 0.2 million devices in 2018 to 3.3 million in 2022.
  • Out of the 1,015 venture capital investments during 2017 tracked by Greenlight Insights across the globe, more than 180 are in Europe, making it the leading global-region front for immersive technology.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations have ramifications for any consumer electronics provider, service providers, or other organizations keeping and leveraging customer data within their operations. Given the importance of data collection in AR adoption, particularly in the North American market, it is worth considering whether the new requirement will further stymie the growth of the European augmented reality market.

Our analysis

Data gleaned from individuals serves as the foundation of most augmented reality consumer applications, but privacy is a major concern. The new GDPR, which took effect in the EU on May 25, 2018, will unify regulations and give consumers greater control over how their personal data is used and protected.

Europe is on the leading frontier of augmented reality technology with approximately 18% of all venture capital deals completed in 2017 going to companies headquartered in Europe. 017 Global VR:AR Deal Count, Regional DistributionAfter this change in the data privacy laws, citizens will be informed about the information that is collected, and they will need to consent to having their personal data collected by applications. Giving application users the right to know how and when their data is being used and, more importantly, giving them the ability to delete their data, if they choose, improves user confidence about the broader adoption of AR devices and applications.