GDPR - One Week In
Let’s talk GDPR. You may have thought that you’d heard the last of it after May 25th, but you haven’t, and nor will you for quite some time (sorry). Whilst it may seem like you’re constantly being heckled to ensure that your company’s data is GDPR compliant, it is for yours and your business’ own good. It’s been almost a week since since the new regulations came into force, and beforehand there were all sorts of reports circulating about how “no one’s ready for GDPR”. Seeing as everyone has had two years' notice ahead of these regulations, why is this the case? And what has changed (if anything) six days in? That’s what Hopewiser intends to find out.
The Ponemon Institute conducted a survey, called “The Race to GDPR”, which represented over 1000 US and EU companies. The results show that almost half the participants said that they would not be compliant by May 25th, with 40% stating that they still wouldn’t be GDPR ready after the deadline. In fact, only 10% expressed that they would be ready ahead of the deadline last Friday.
We ask ourselves why? After all, you’ve all known for two years that this day was coming. Are companies willing to become GDPR compliant? You would think so, bearing in mind that you could be fined up to €20 million for not following the rules. Surprisingly, only 21% of participants in the survey claimed that they would align their operations to coincide with the new regulations. That is shocking considering that 71% said that their business operations would be severely affected if they failed to become GDPR compliant.
However, it would seem that a significant proportion of companies don’t even know where to begin to conform to the new regulations. In fact, at 47% it’s almost half of the participants. Let’s hope that this representation doesn’t reflect the business world as a whole, otherwise some serious damage could be caused. That said, an overall 92% claim that they have appointed a data protection officer to ensure that their data is compliant. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
The question that we find ourselves left with is, are companies GDPR ready now? Sadly, no. Within the first day of the new privacy laws taking effect, Google, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all received privacy complaints that could total to $9.3 billion in fines. Not a great start guys.
The grievance stemmed from privacy-advocacy group, Noyb.eu, who claimed that the four organisations had adopted a “take it or leave it” stance by demanding that consumers agree to their prying terms of service. If they didn’t consent to the privacy agreement then they were threatened with not being allowed to use the service anymore. Known as “bundling”, this is strictly prohibited by GDPR and any culprits found guilty of this could be subject to very hefty fines.
EU regulators in Belgium, Austria, Hamburg, and France have received requests from Noyb to fine the offending companies up to 4% of their annual revenue. For Google’s parent company, Alphabet, this could amount to $4.88 billion. For Facebook and the company’s owned services, Instagram and WhatsApp, their fines could total to $1.63 billion for each company. Whether the regulators will fine the organisations the full amount remains to be seen, but it is expected that a penalty of some kind will be issued.
The findings in this article present a worrying notion that makes one question, what does the future hold in terms of compliance towards GDPR? The answer is simple. You have to be GDPR compliant unless you’re willing to fork out a huge chunk of your annual revenue. It’s basic common sense.
The team here at Hopewiser want to help ensure that you are GDPR compliant, and we could save you a lot of money in the long run with our top of the range software. Our data cleanse services provide you with clean, enhanced, and validated addresses and will reduce your marketing spend by eliminating all goneaway, duplicates, and deceased records. So our final question today is, how can you afford not to use our products? Head over to our website today for a full list of what is available for you and your business needs.