GDPR: Unprepared businesses expect to be fined

02 May 2018  |  Scarlett O'Donoghue 
GDPR: Unprepared businesses expect to be fined

Planning for the worst? New research published by Ensighten this week shows that nearly half (45%) of UK businesses have put money aside to cover possible fines for not being GDPR compliant.

The study, which investigates UK marketers' attitudes towards the new privacy regulations, showed that 61% of respondents would apply for an extension on the deadline if they had the possibility, with many admitting that they will not meet the requirements by the 25th of May.

Only 26% of UK marketers say that they are 'very confident' that their data procedures are compliant with the regulations, and nearly one in ten (7%) admit to not having implemented any GDPR-related actions.

However, for those who are underway with GDPR preparations, 63% state that their new policies will increase the quality of their data.

"Unfortunately we found that brands are aware, but still uncertain in their final month of GDPR preparation," said Ian Woolley, chief revenue officer at Ensighten.

"The research shows that 45% of UK businesses have set money aside in anticipation of regulatory fines. The good news is that brands still have time to deploy and optimise customer privacy and consent options on their websites."

One of the reasons for the apparent lack of preparedness may be due to the absence of leadership and education: only 14% believe that the data protection officer - a GDPR mandated position - should be responsible for implementing GDPR regulations, whilst 32% believe the task lies with the CEO, 26% with the chief data officer and 22% with the chief marketing officer.

Meanwhile only 13% of marketers will provide better education on GDPR to consumers within their marketing communications, and only one in ten (9%) will be using more frequent customer contact to request the permission of users to share their personal data.

"Educating consumers on how their personal data is used and why their permission is needed is essential to building consumer trust and gaining their opt-in consent," said Woolley.

"GDPR is not just a legal hurdle to jump. Whilst brands are putting money aside for fines, they should not underestimate the damage to their reputation and business from not educating customers now."

The findings go on to show that 69% of marketers state that GDPR will enhance the accuracy and consistency of their data, but only 30% are setting new metrics to manage their figures.

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