General Data Protection Regulation

GDPR: The Opportunities

The introduction of the new European Union General Data Protection Regulations is now less than a year away. Being introduced on May 25 2018, it will come into force across Europe, including the UK and will affect organizations and businesses of all shapes and sizes across the globe. This is because the new GDPR applies to any organisation that processes the data of EU citizens. Therefore, potentially it affects millions of organisations and businesses of types.

The fines that are to be levied on companies that do not comply with the new regulations are severe. Those organisations that are non-compliant will be subject to fines of up to 4% of their global annual turnover or 20 million euros, whichever is greater. It can be seen therefore that the fines for noncompliance are enough to seriously damage many organisations and put many others out of business altogether.

However, while many people are concentrating on the hard work involved in implementing the new General Data Protection Regulations and the punitive fines involved, GDPR shouldn’t simply been seen as a negative or a cost. There are going to be a number of key benefits too.

Simplification

For those organisations that work across several different European nations they will now no longer be required to register with a data protection authority in each state. At the moment, this can be costly, complicated and time consuming. From next year however after the implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulations, organisations will only have to register and interact with one data protection authority, the one in the member state of the European Union that they select as their main establishment.

Consistency

At the moment, data protection laws are different in each member state of the European Union. That means for those businesses that operate in more than one country in the EU, it can be complex to operate consistently across borders in terms of data protection. From May 25 2018, there will be just one data protection policy to abide by, the EU General Data Protection Regulations. This means that data protection will be consistent across the European Union.

Restructuring And Reorganising

For many organisations, the process of getting their data protection processes and practices into a compliant order can be a great opportunity to restructure and reorganise. Data flows can be mapped and reviewed and businesses can end up not just compliant, but functioning more efficiently too.

Consumer Confidence

Positive and active engagement with GDPR compliance can be used to increase consumer confidence and enhance brand image. Whilst it is suspected that by May 25 2018 many organisations will not be compliant, it can be a good way for those organisations that are compliant to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

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