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Member States and businesses not doing enough for GDPR

Posted by Nick Prag at 01 February 2018, 23:45 CET |
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With only a few months left before the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into force, many businesses and EU Member States are not doing enough to prepare.

Despite the threat of penalties for failing to comply, fines of up to four per cent of annual global turnover, up to a maximum of EUR 20 million, not all businesses are GDPR-ready.

It is a big change coming along. The General Data Protection Regulation marks the start of a new era of data protection, designed to enable individuals to better control their personal data.

From 25 May 2018 all businesses that store or process data on an EU citizen will have to comply with its the new regulations - even if they are based outside of the EU.

Though there is clearly concern from many businesses, the new set of modernised and unified rules should allow them to make the most of opportunities within the EU's Digital Single Market, by reducing regulation and benefiting from reinforced consumer trust.

But at a recent GDPR conference, it was clear that much still needs to be done - not just by businesses -  to ensure that the original intention of creating a single set of data protection rules in Europe is fulfilled.

BusinessEurope Digital Economy Adviser Patrick Grant: "Businesses want to be GDPR complaint to reinforce trust while ensuring innovative services through the free flow of personal data.

"Member States should also match the Commissions' ambition of financing awareness raising campaigns", he said, concluding that the GDPR has the possibility to be the gold standard of global privacy law if it can be demonstrated that its objectives can be achieved in practice."

The employers' organisation UEAPME says: "It is almost surreal to pretend from SMEs to comply with the GDPR by 25 May when today, less than 4 months away, Member States have still not completed the necessary work to prepare the right environment."

General Data Protection Regulation - background guide

Here is a guide to GDPR, tailored towards marketers and small businesses, which answers some of the most common questions on the subject.

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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.