GDPR was first implemented in 2018. Standing for the General Data Protection Regulation, the rules were designed to give customers and individuals greater control over how companies handled their personal data.
But they have already been broken.
Several companies have been found in breach of GDPR and have been heavily fined as a result. Violators of the regulations can be fined up to 4% of the company’s global turnover for the preceding financial year, which can mean tens of millions or more depending on the offender.
This can mean that mishandling data and sensitive information comes with a hefty price tag — but the cost is not only monetary. While the company may lose millions to the fine, customers have also lost their privacy and security — as well as their trust in the company.
The company’s reputation can be damaged as badly as its finances if they’re found to be in breach of GDPR. A breakdown in trust with customers in competitive marketplaces can mean that customer loyalty is lost, and they may well move to another service or provider.
Almost all companies — and especially those who operate online — now have some form of protocol and processes in place to handle their customers’ data in the most effective way possible. This means prioritising their security, privacy, and trust, and disposing of data correctly too.
However, with the rules still being relatively new, mistakes are still being made and are costing both companies and customers. Some of the worst offenders to date have been household names — not simply companies still finding their feet or unsure of how to manage their processes.
British Airways, for example, as well as Google, Uber, and Marriot International have all been hit with serious fines after being found in breach of GDPR regulations. Other famous and widely used businesses have also been named.
Customers want to get informed — feeling safe and secure in the businesses they use and how their data will be handled. This has led to many of them researching lists and round-ups of the worst GDPR breaches, or the top fines for violating GDPR.
As some of the worst offenders are charged upwards of 100 million euros, GDPR is becoming a serious concern, and the fines are having an impact on a variety of industries.
The Rise Of GDPR Experts
Because of the serious consequences for breaching GDPR regulations, many companies are now hiring GDPR professionals and specialists to help them remain in compliance and avoid being hit with a fine.
The GDPR professional’s role is to ensure that user data (the data of a company’s clients, customers, and collaborators) is used and stored correctly. This can also mean ensuring that it is not shared without permission, and is deleted in a secure or encrypted way so that it cannot be recovered, repurposed, or stolen.
Hiring professionals who are well versed in these protocols is now a priority concern, and seen as a major investment if it can protect a company from a serious fine — while also protecting customers from any breaches of their data.
Moving forward, many companies have adapted deftly and admirably to the changes and continue to monitor and refine their data handling processes. GDPR regulations are likely to change as rapidly as the technology does, and so will require high levels of knowledge, attention, and quick implementation to avoid fines and breaches of data.
Even in a short space of time, GDPR has made a substantial impact in the business world – both financially and in terms of practice, and this looks set to continue.
To avoid being caught out, consider hiring or consulting GDPR professionals, as well as having a plan in place for how to stay up to date on changing regulations.
Those who do are less likely to have GDPR cost them — in terms of both fines and customer trust.