According to a statement from the European Commission VP Andrus Ansip and commissioner Vera Jourová, the EU’s long-awaited data protection reform is set to be unveiled at the end of this year. However, it seems that awareness of GDPR and what it means for businesses is still lacking. According to survey of European IT professionals, carried out by Ipswitch, more than half of respondents (52%) stated that they’re not ready for GDPR and more than a third (35%) admitted that they didn’t know whether their IT policies and processes were up to scratch.
Although GDPR may not come into force until 2017, it will impact all businesses that collect, process and store personal data, which is defined by the EU as: “Any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, your bank details, your posts on social networking websites, your medical information, or your computer’s IP address”.
For brands, and marketers in particular, GDPR brings with it some drastic changes in how data is processed that need to be prepared for now.
A key topic that sits at the heart of the changes is trust. Trust between organisations and consumers needs to be re-built. People are concerned about their personally identifiable information (PII) being used without their consent – a fact thrown into the limelight by The 2015 TRUSTe US Consumer Confidence Index.
The survey revealed that a huge 91% of people avoid companies that do not respect their privacy. The GDPR’s predicted shift to what is being called ‘pseudonymous’ data will be key to rebuilding this bridge. All Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is removed and replaced with a randomly generated ID key.