GDPR is being regarded as groundbreaking legislation and the appropriate measure required to aid governments and citizens in regaining control of data security. As with most governmental concerns that spiral into a frenzy, the GDPR regulation has been developed to manage data protection issues.
The new GDPR regulation holds a detailed account of data protection policy requirements and stringent breach penalties for organisations that fail to comply. Governments are hoping these tough data protection policies enforce secure data storage policies and privacy.
Many organisations have hired or promoted Data Protection Officers to manage any organisational GDPR concerns regarding compliance. GDPR has published official documentation on best business practice requirements and how to achieve compliance. However, the auditing of each organisation differs from nation to nation as Data Protection Agencies from each respective nation are responsible for their own member states.
As every organisation differs, as do their GDPR responsibilities. As a result, many organisations have been left anxious over whether or not their business practices classify as “adequate”.
In this article, we are going to discuss the positive and negative and implications of the new GDPR legislation.
The Positive Implications of GDPR
Organisations have been in a continuous battle for almost as long as the internet has existed. Security upgrades in networks, servers and infrastructures have been a primary source of cyber protection along with other policy and security changes until recently. The passing of GDPR has directly impacted data privacy and security standards while also indirectly encouraging organisations to develop and improve their cybersecurity measures, limiting the risks of any potential data breach.
Standardisation of Data Protection
As mentioned in the second paragraph, GDPR compliance is assessed by Data Protection Agencies from each nation. Although these compliance audits are carried out by independent agencies, the EU-wide standardisation of the regulatory environment ensure once an organisation is GDPR compliant, they are free to operate throughout all European countries without being required to deal with each nations individual data protection legislation.
As some internationally recognised organisations have experienced, data breaches have a monumentally devastating impact on the reputation of an organisation. Users and customers value their privacy and their confidence can be irrevocably damaged if a breach of data does occur and their information is made available unknowingly.
On the opposite end of this spectrum, lies a customer that is more than willing to share their private information as they believe their data is being stored and used in line with GDPR. If an organisation can become a trusted holder of information, their odds in creating a long-lasting and loyal relationship with a customer will improve significantly.
Loyal Customer Following
One of the primary reasons for the formation of GDPR was to allow users to spend more time on the sites they enjoy without being overwhelmed with advertisements from either unsolicited senders or relatively unknown organisations that were subscribed to in the past.
Users and customers are far more likely to accept the mandatory opt-in from organisations and businesses they are interested in. In the near future, a user that subscribes to an organisation will be one that has qualified their interest with subscriptions becoming a sign on loyalty or interest.
The Negative Implications of GDPR
The cost of non-compliance is certainly one that has encouraged organisations to consider their data protection responsibilities inside the EU. With a potential fine of €20m or 4% of Global Annual Turnover the cost of non-compliance, the results of an audit can present a frightening realisation of business closure if an organisation fails to protect their customer data.
The Cost of Compliance
When the news first broke that GDPR would be implemented in 2018, most organisations reacted by instating a Data Protection Officer to take responsibility for ensuring internal policies were updated and any required processes were implemented.
Depending on the quantity of EU Citizen data being processed by an organisation, the cost of achieving compliance can vary from hundreds of euro to tens of thousands.
Although GDPR certainly holds some very strong positive implications for both businesses and users, the cost of this can accumulate rather quickly with unforeseen salaries being added to the payroll.
New legislation is also accompanied by the possibility of overregulation. Adding a double opt-in inside a form presents the modern customer with a never-ending message of consent.
The new consent form allows customers to control if and how they are contacted by an organisation, empowering them with the full control of who and how they share their data.
The continuous presence of opting-in may discourage some customers from registering as they delay the requirement of opting-in until they are absolutely certain of their interest.
The Aftermath of Implementation
On the 25th May 2018, after so much planning and discussion, we finally saw GDPR etched into legislation. Overall, the GDPR message is very much in favour of the customer. The new regulations that have been implemented allow users to discover who has their data, why they have it, where it's stored and who is accessing it.
While assessing the positive and negative aspects of GDPR, we feel it’s clear that the pros certainly outweigh the cons. In the coming months and years we will find a digital world that is more unique and cleaner, free from unsolicited mail.
Read More: How GDPR Impacts Companies in the USA