GDPR: Challenges and Opportunities

On May 25, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. Over the last 20 years, this is the most important change in data privacy laws in Europe. It is designed to both protect and strengthen EU citizens’ data privacy rights and also reshape the way organizations approach their data privacy policies.

Of course, these new regulations don’t just affect companies and individuals in the EU. Any organization, irrespective of its location, that offers goods or services, or holds data on EU citizens, must comply with GDPR.

I recently had the privilege of chairing a GDPR panel session, and during the event was shown some very interesting survey results suggesting that there is a degree of confusion amongst both companies and individuals surrounding issues of data privacy, its management, and who is ultimately responsible for any regulation breaches or abuses. We don’t have to look much further than the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica affair to see an illustration of the current problems within the data landscape and why reform and regulation is needed.

While achieving compliance, and remaining compliant, is undoubtedly a major headache for many businesses and organizations, especially in these early stages, we must not lose sight of the opportunities these new regulations will bring. GDPR is forcing companies to completely revise their data management processes. As a result, the industry is hopeful companies will become more efficient and effective data managers, beyond enhancing their reputations for business competence.

GDPR is expected to transform the entire digital commerce landscape for the better, and it is no surprise other countries and regions are considering introducing their own GDPR-style regulations.

If you have any questions about GDPR, implementation or compliancy, please feel free to contact me at

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Neil Howman, Managing Director
202 Communications

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