Part 2: GDPR: Benefit or burden? (What happens if you violate GDPR)

Part 2: GDPR: Benefit or burden? (What happens if you violate GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at its core, is a set of rules designed to give EU citizens more control over their personal data. It aims to simplify the regulatory environment for businesses and citizens in the European Union so they can fully benefit from the digital economy.

The GDPR applies to all organizations that process and store information on individuals in the EU. However, SMBs are allowed some exceptions such as maintaining a record of processes activities, and EU member states can determine if smaller businesses need a Data Protection Officer (DPO). These regulations ensure that companies are doing their utmost to secure the privacy and integrity of personal information.

Related article: What is GDPR and how does it affect your business?

Because every organization differs, their GDPR responsibilities could vary. As a result, many companies are anxious about being adequate and fully compliant. One of the major changes GDPR will bring is notifying the appropriate state bodies and affected individuals of a data breach so that EU citizens can take immediate measures to prevent their data from being abused.

With all the talk surrounding the GDPR, could there be insurmountable challenges for businesses both big and small? Here are the positive and negative implications of the regulation:

The Positives

Improved cybersecurity – With the sheer number of data breaches and hacks, the unfortunate reality for many is that cybercriminals constantly abuse data such as email addresses, passwords, social security numbers, and confidential health records. The passing of the GDPR has directly impacted data privacy and security standards and has driven companies to develop and enhance their cybersecurity policies, limiting the risks associated with any potential data breach.

Standardization of data protection – Compliance audits are carried out by independent agencies and the EU-wide standardization of the regulatory environment. This means that as long as a business is GDPR compliant, it’s free to operate across all European countries without being required to deal with every nation’s respective data protection legislation.

Brand security – Data breaches are known to significantly impact high-profile companies, as customers often lose trust and confidence in compromised businesses. With the GDPR, customers will be more inclined to trust compliant organizations and develop long-lasting relationships with them, too. Both businesses and customers could enjoy a trust-based form of marketing that aligns with secure and safe data protection practices.

Loyal partners and customers – Since the GDPR allows users to spend more time on the sites they visit without being bothered by unwanted advertisements from unsolicited senders or companies, they’d be able to enjoy the mandatory opt-in from organizations they are only interested in. The new consent form allows customers to control if and how they can be contacted by an organization, giving them full control over how they share data and with whom.

Related article: What is GDPR and how does it affect your business?

The Negatives

Penalties – The costly fines placed on non-compliance has compelled businesses to improve their data protection responsibilities inside the EU. With a potential fine of up to €20 million, businesses could close down for good should they fail to protect their customer data.

Cost of compliance – Hiring a DPO could be costly, as their responsibilities would depend on the quantity of EU citizen data being processed. The cost could vary from hundreds of euros to tens of thousands, which could accumulate rather quickly over time.

Overregulation – Adding multiple opt-in forms that ask customers how they want their data to be handled and controlled may be frustrating, as it adds extra steps when a customer wants to subscribe to a service.

Assessing the positive and negative aspects of GDPR gives you a clearer view and understanding of how it could ultimately help your business in the coming months. Every part of our lives revolves around data from social media companies, banks, governments, and retailers. As such, your business should be extremely careful about the collection and analysis of your customers’ data. This way, your clients can rest easy knowing who keeps and accesses their data, why they have it, and where it’s being stored.

As GDPR continues to be an ongoing obligation for businesses, it’s time to partner with a provider who knows the ins and outs of the regulation. Prosum sees being GDPR-compliant as a competitive advantage. From encryption to cookies, to data protection, our experts have what it takes to scrub data on demand and ensure its security across every transfer. Contact us today to learn more.

This article is Part 2 of our GDPR series. Read the next installment below or check out Everything you need to know about the EU General Data Protection Regulation. If you missed Part 1, check it out here.

Part 3: Implementation Challenges to GDPR

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