The deadline is looming. The new regulation will be a trial by fire for interactions with customers, colleagues and regulatory authorities. Are you ready for this? And what has your company done to prepare? At SAS, we wanted to get a feel for where people are, so we conducted a study and published our results.
In short, less than half (46 percent) of the 183 survey participants feel they will be ready for an audit by May 25. And two-thirds (63 percent) are already seeing a “dramatic impact on their business activities.”
One thing is certain, however: The two-year deadline is up either way. And no, nobody is getting off easy or getting an extension (unless you’re an Austrian, that is). And with that hint of irony that’s always there anytime you’ve broken the rules, the time between getting caught and receiving the traffic summons in the mail is not so relaxing.
46 % of the 183 survey participants feel they will be ready for an GDPR audit by May 25. And 63 % are already seeing a “dramatic impact on their business activities.”
We all know the critical question is not whether you’ve done everything right, but if you’ve done the right things. And can you demonstrate that with authority to everyone, in case you are asked by the public, the VIP customer’s lawyer, or a representative of the media?
One can imagine that the procedures at Cambridge Analytica might have been on the level and in accordance with generally accepted practices. Well, it’s the same thing for helping a neighbour, travel receipts, and 30 kmh speed-limit zones. In any case, submitting proof will cost the company so much money that any remaining customers will not be enough to generate sufficient funds – Cambridge Analytica is bankrupt.The two-year deadline is up either way. And no, nobody is getting off easy or getting an extension (unless you’re an Austrian, that is). #gdpr Click To Tweet
It’s more pleasant to consider the benefits
We researched that as well, and the following bright sides do exist:
- 91 percent of those surveyed in Europe (globally, 84 percent) expect to see their data governance improve. That means a mixture of better data quality (for each individual) and transparent, interconnected processes (for everyone in the enterprise).
- 49 percent are aware of significant impacts on their AI projects. Because what we’re seeing is not a ban on big data analytics, but rather big data analytics becoming mature, legitimate and predictable from a legal standpoint. Productive applications of machine learning algorithms are also expected to improve (think deployments) and finally pay off. That means fewer experimental projects that end up getting nixed by legal.
- 68 percent of respondents see the GDPR as an opportunity to build trust between themselves and their customers. Surprised? Just take a look at the many emotional email newsletters over the last few days from people trying to get in your good graces while promising a long-term relationship.
In countless workshops and conferences over the last two years, people would remark with a shrug or dismissive gesture that this “regulation from Brussels is out of touch with reality,” and instead of shaking in their boots, they’d quote adages such as: “It’s extremely difficult to make predictions, especially when you’re talking about the future.”
“You can’t turn your back on demands for increased data protection – we help companies make it easy for their customers to understand how their data is being used. This requires businesses to include all of their activities in a GDPR and data protection strategy. If they rely exclusively on their IT department for implementation, it’s guaranteed to fail.” (Todd Wright, Product Manager at SAS)
As the sun rises on May 25, there may be more than one IT expert coming off a night shift, shuffling to the train station together with the company’s in-house legal counsel. Eagle-eyed online activists, watchdogs and journalists, however, will be up and raring to go.
This beautiful day of the Pentecost week falls, by the way, on a Friday. That may make it seem more harmless than it is.
This blog post was originally published in German on the regional blog site Mehr Wissen.