GDPR: What impact has it really made during its first year?

Since its debut last May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has made a big splash.

 

Businesses not even operating in the EU felt its presence. And we all saw more requests to share our cookies.

 

So, with one year under its belt, what other accomplishments can the GDPR claim?

 

Raising awareness

In its first 365 days, EU officials say they believe the GDPR raised awareness and helped the public understand their data privacy rights. EU stats say Data Protection Authorities logged more than 95,000 complaints since May 2018.

 

But compliance with the GDPR isn’t easy. Other stats report over 50 percent of organizations still aren’t compliant. Those who do pour resources into compliance, though, say it’s a good chance to build trust with their customers.

 

Adding costs to compliance

Whether it’s in the form of fines or adding to the cost of doing business, the GDPR carries a big price tag. One survey says 40 percent of companies pay up to $10 million in compliance costs. That’s not just updating policies and consents; it’s also managing data inventories and maps. It can be a long, tedious process.

 

But those compliance details matter. Companies found in violation face major fines. France has already hit Google with a $57 million fine.

 

Creating a ripple effect

The EU isn’t alone in its quest for privacy regulation. The GDPR kicked off a wave of privacy efforts in the U.S.

 

California’s new law, the California Consumer Privacy Act, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Other states considering similar laws include Washington, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Maryland. 

 

Feeling like the GDPR conversation doesn’t apply to you? You might want to rethink that. Plenty of companies—domestic businesses, for example—have skipped the GDPR. But that’s changing.

 

The GDPR is only beginning. Plus, with these upcoming state laws, no one can afford to ignore data privacy anymore.

 

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