As with any new EU regulation, there is a danger that the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be met with knee-jerk resentment in organisations as something that is being imposed on them, with little regard to the potential benefit to the organisation.
While it is true that the new regulation is aimed at protecting the rights of the consumers to have control over their own data and enshrining the duties of organisations to those consumers, there are likely to be significant advantages to organisations.
Organisations that are able to demonstrate full compliance with the GDPR and that show an ethical approach to how they handle consumers data are likely to stand out from the pack, which will in turn open opportunities to build stronger relationships with consumers.
Data Protection matters to consumers
What many organisations have yet to realise is that Data Protection is something that matters to consumers. Numerous surveys conducted over the past 5 years have shown that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned over how their data is used and the controls they have over it.
A Eurobarometer survey carried out by Eurostat in 2015 interviewed almost 30,000 citizens from all EU states and found that:
* More than eight out of ten respondents (81pc) felt that they do not have complete control over their personal data
* Just under nine out of ten (89pc) of respondents believed they should have the same rights and protections over their personal information regardless of the country in which the organisation offering the service is established
* A substantial majority of respondents (69pc) believe that the collection of their data should require their explicit approval
This survey and many others also found that many consumers exhibit low levels of trust in companies which collect their information online, and that the level of trust is lowered further if those companies are unfamiliar to them or are located outside of their own jurisdiction.
The GDPR will now level the playing field and will give consumers across the EU the same rights, and organisations across the EU will also have the same responsibilities. Organisations that can demonstrate full compliance with the GDPR are ultimately going to build trust with customers and stakeholders.
They will be in a much better position to build relationships with consumers - and ultimately to leverage those relationships to increase purchasing.
If your preparations for the implementation of GDPR are not already well underway, the Datasec 2017 conference on May 3 in the RDS in Dublin is going to provide all you need to know.
The event will provide expert speakers, information and insight to help your business comply with GDPR and get the most out of the new legislation. Click here to book your place now.