Written by Michael Baxter. Published on Fresh Business Thinking.
Don’t get caught napping. The result this time could be an enormous fine to your company.
The era of big data approaches, the era of marketing science is upon us, but there is a fly in the data ointment. And that fly is the new General Data Protection Regulation. It is coming into law in May in the year after next – that’s May 2018.
And companies that don’t comply with the new regulations could face a fine of 20 million euros, or four per cent of annual turnover.
You could say ouch, buy maybe a more appropriate reaction would be to scream in agony.
And there is no time to lose.
Complying with the new regulation will take time, and organisation. Experts will need to either be hired, or created internally, pretty-quick.
Systems will be need to be overhauled.
But the new regulation will permeate all aspects of an organisation. Staff will need to be trained to think GDPR.
And don’t lull yourself into thinking that Brexit will make the problem go away. Article 50 may or may not be launched in the first three months of 2017, but the UK will still be part of the EU in May 2018. Its rules will apply here.
Besides, the Theresa May government has already agreed that even when we leave the EU we will still apply all EU rules – that’s what the Great Repeal Bill states, it will change the UK constitution so we are no longer subservient to EU rules, but at the same time incorporate all EU laws into UK law. That may seem like a cop-out, but actually, the UK government has no choice, changing laws is devilishly complex, you need to give this time.
Even if the UK government decided it didn’t like the GDPR regulation it would take years and years to change. In reality, GDPR regulation is a sign of how the world is changing, the UK government is not likely to make any major changes to the regulation for a very long time, if ever.
And that leaves a double threat. Ignoring impending regulation is costly, but it is human nature to do precisely that. But the allure of Brexit may fool us, the thought of Brexit may make wishful thinking seductive, thinking that the threat of GDPR will go away.
This would be a massive and costly error.
GDPR is a time bomb at the heart of the UK corporate world, and the time to defuse it is now.
Written by Michael Baxter.