When the new European General Data Protection Regulations are mentioned, they are often met with one of two reactions. Firstly, confusion, as many people have not even heard of them, even though they are set to introduced on May 25, 2018, less than 12 months away. It’s not just many of the general public that haven’t heard of GDPR, more worryingly is the fact that many senior business leaders in IT, marketing and strategic leadership haven’t heard of them either!
The second reaction is one of horror or worry, as many people see complying with the new General Data Protection Regulations as a huge undertaking that will cost significant amounts of time and money. This may or may not be true depending upon the current data protection policies.
However, whilst GDPR is undoubtedly going to be a big change and undertaking for any organisation in the world that processes the data of European Union subjects, done right, it can actually be used to some business’s advantage.
Advantages For Startups
Startups can come into GDPR with a clean state, unlike established companies that already have comprehensive data protection policies. This can result in a leaner way of dealing with GDPR for startups, whose privacy by design can help them to drive a competitive edge over their more established rivals.
Power To Consumers
The GDPR legislation strengthens the rights of individuals on consent and viewing data stored about them. Marketed correctly, this can be a powerful marketing tool to build trust with customers. Whilst all organisations who process EU citizens’ data will be subject to GDPR, not all will ‘market’ this fact and doing so could be a powerful differentiator.
Stimulate New Services And Products
The process for complying with the new European General Data Protection Regulations can be time consuming, with all issues of data privacy and data protection needed to be looked at. The new legislation requires organisations to map their data assets – so they will have a much clearer view of the data assets they hold. This could lead to innovative organisations seeing opportunities and creating new services or products.
Opportunities With New Architectures And Algorithms
According to Brian Hills, the head of data at The Data Lab, “…the legislation promotes transparency in data-driven algorithms and decision-making. Organisations that can create (or evolve) their algorithms from black box to white box to provide decision-making details to customers and options to opt out will be ahead of their competitors.”
Compliance with the new European Union General Data Protection will require root and branch reform across every area of an organisation. This can often result in a fertile ground for innovation and the uncovering of opportunities.