The year 2018 brings along the long-awaited arrival of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that is expected to come into effect from 25th May, 2018.  If you expect Brexit to have an impact on the regulation’s existence in the UK, you should know that the UK Government has deemed GDPR compliance to be mandatory and hence there is no change of plans as far as GDPR is concerned. This article will give a brief overview of what GDPR is and how it is expected to affect various businesses and consumers.


What is GDPR?

The main reason behind introducing GDPR is to create an environment wherein people are believed to have more control over what they share publicly or privately. Data shared on the internet will be considered to be the responsibility of the collector and processor rather than the one sharing it. Under GDPR compliance, organizations such as banks, social media platforms, and retailers are required to gather personal data through legal ways and are deemed responsible for the protection and security of the information.


What does GDPR apply to?

Under the GDPR compliance, data is not only limited to the name, address, and photos of consumers. Information regarding the IP Address or the Biometrics of an individual is also considered to be a part of personal data.


What does Accountability entail?

In cases of non-compliance, businesses will be charged with a tough fine of up to 10 million euros. Furthermore, there is also a factor of accountability that holds great importance when complying with GDPR. In case of a breach, businesses are required to report it to the appropriate authority within 72 hours. Depending on the kind of breach, businesses might also need to inform the customer regarding the violation. In addition to informing the customers, the businesses will also be asked to share with the customers the different ways in which the breach might affect their lives. Examples could be theft, identity scam, or loss of personal relationships.


How does GDPR Affect Businesses?

Following the GDPR compliance, businesses will need to pay more attention to how they collect, store, and manage personal information obtained by the customers. Furthermore, there are many additional ways in which businesses will be affected by the GDPR, some of which are:

  • Customer perception plays an important role in the success of any business. With increased security, customers will find it easier to trust businesses and will not hesitate when dealing with them.
  • Quick identification of any errors within the data collected will provide the businesses with an opportunity to get access to accurate data.
  • Even though GDPR will extend internationally as well local business to business transactions will be easier to accomplish. This is because having one regulatory authority will ensure trust amongst all the businesses.
  • In the long run, data security and protection is expected to be made a part of the design process which will open doors to innovation thus benefitting the businesses.
  • With an enhanced emphasis on data, the businesses will be able to gather all of the data in one place which will greatly improve access to it. This ease of access will also introduce new ways to analyze and interpret data.
  • The training that will be required for the staff to understand GDPR compliance will bring about increased workload as well as increased costs for the whole business. However, this effect is expected to be short-lived.


What Steps Can Businesses Take?

Before the deadline approaches, it is recommended for businesses to plan and prepare for the upcoming changes under GDPR. Here are a few steps that can be taken by businesses to ensure adequate preparation.

  1. The first step to getting ready is to understand what GDPR means and what is meant by its compliance. Many businesses are still unaware of how the rules and regulations work. Getting knowledge does not include finding out what is meant by GDPR but also getting to know how the internal systems work and what the potential loopholes are within the company’s operations.
  2. It is likely that your company alone will not be able to perform a thorough check of loopholes present in the current system. Hence, it is recommended to take help of a cyber-security firm that will inform you about the amount of work required to make your business ready for GDPR compliance.
  3. Proper training should be given to every employee of the company to avoid any careless occurrence of infringement. The entire staff of the company should be aware of the rules and regulations of the GDPR and also the consequences of a breach.
  4. Making changes is not limited to the way things work within the company but also extends to the documentation used by the company. The privacy policy for companies will need to be revised as according to GDPR, customers need to opt-in for storage of the data.



Getting ready as early as possible for the upcoming changes is extremely important to avoid any possibility of a breach. Since there is a lot of emphases is laid on this regulation, businesses should be prepared for assessments and should thus take GDPR Compliance seriously.


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