GDPR a Force for Good

What most people forget as they wade through mountains of paperwork is that GDPR is fundamentally a good thing. Tim Cook said so.

GDPR has filled the news and IT departments of large and small companies alike. Whether the extra anxiety and preparation was necessary or not, it has affected all UK business. But, the regulation was implemented on 25th May of this year, so why am I still talking about it? 

Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, everyone has heard of these giants. But millions of users equates to millions of user’s data. This also means millions of user’s consent .  

Simon Entwisle, Deputy Commissioner for the ICO commented that the 2017/18 figured revealed more reported data protection breaches and increase in the number of businesses fined for unlawful activities than all previous records.  

As the regulation is in force it may seem like the GDPR battle is at its end; but GDPR is ongoing and not a one-off action. The 25th May deadline was the battle, not the war. 

Serviceteam IT conducted research entitled ‘Beyond the Cloud: UK Technology Research 2018’ concluding that 38% of respondents were worried about their company’s GDPR compliance outside the IT department. Compliance is a company-wide problem and needs to be such by a business’ management. Not being compliant would also make new opportunities for other businesses; there are GDPR winners and losers. 

I’m sure we all remember the Cambridge Analytica crisis from early in 2018. The corporate giant Facebook was fined £500,000 for failing to protect British citizens data on its social media website. However, it took more than 10 days for the ICO to be able to see the data. Because of GDPR, this right to the ICO is automatic. Imagine the copious amounts of data that you can delete in 10 days. Also, £500,000? For a social media giant? Up for €20 million or 4% of the annual turnover seems pretty reasonable in this scenario.  

Customers can now be more confident on who is using their data and when. GDPR is also clearly having an effect as 52% of respondents in the Serviceteam IT research have increased their IT budget to deal with GDPR. This just presents how badly organisations such as Facebook have behaved when handling our data. 

Additionally, 16% of respondents reported a data breach in the past 12 months. However, 20% believe they will have to report more data breaches because of GDPR. Conversely, this shows that protection of data is finally being taken seriously.

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