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Companies see benefit in new EU data privacy law, study finds 

May 20. 2018
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By The Nation

A new study from IBM reveals that nearly 60 per cent of organisations surveyed are embracing the EU’s new digital privacy protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as an opportunity to improve privacy, security, data management or as a catalyst for new business models, rather than simply a compliance issue or impediment.

To reduce their exposure, the study indicated that the majority of companies are being more selective in the data they collect and manage, with 70 per cent disposing of data ahead of the deadline for compliance. 

Companies’ preparation for GDPR comes in the wake of increased scrutiny from consumers on businesses’ management of personal data. 

A separate poll of 10,000 consumers, conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of IBM, found that only 20 per cent of US consumers completely trust organisations they interact with to maintain the privacy of their data.

In the weeks leading up to the May 25 enforcement date, IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) surveyed over 1,500 business leaders responsible for GDPR compliance for organisations around the world. 

The results reveal how companies are approaching GDPR as an opportunity to build further trust with customers and to help drive innovation.

For example, 84 per cent believe that proof of GDPR compliance will be seen as a positive differentiator to the public, while 76 per cent said that GDPR will enable more trusted relationships with data subjects that will create new business opportunities. Despite this opportunity, only 36 per cent believe they will be fully compliant with GDPR by the May 25 deadline.

Kittipong Asawapichayon, country manager, Software Group, IBM Thailand said that GDPR will be one of the biggest disruptive forces impacting business models across industries – and its reach extends far beyond the EU borders.

“The onset of GDPR also comes during a time of huge distrust among consumers toward businesses ability to protect their personal data. These factors together have created a perfect storm for companies to rethink their approach to data responsibility and begin to restore the trust needed in today’s data-driven economy,” said Kitipong.

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