Don’t view GDPR as an unnecessary burden, ICO insists

ICO new 2The Information Commissioner’s Office has insisted that businesses should not view GDPR compliance as “an unnecessary burden” but should use the new regulation to can gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
In the latest “myth-busting” blogpost, this time written by ICO deputy commissioner for policy Steve Wood, the regulator claimed it was a “widely held misconception” that EU data reforms were “an onerous imposition of unnecessary and costly red tape”.
He argued: “Any regulation has some sort of impact on an organisation’s resources. That’s unavoidable and GDPR is no different to any other new legislation in that respect. But thinking about burden indicates the wrong mindset to preparing for GDPR compliance.
“Whatever the size of your organisation, GDPR is essentially about trust.  Building trusted relationships with the public will enable you to sustainably build your use of data and gain more value. Through changing their data handling culture, organisations can derive new value from customer relationships. Failing to get data protection right is likely to damage your reputation, your customer relationships and, ultimately, your finances. That goes way beyond increased fines – think brand damage and a subsequent loss of custom.
“[GDPR compliance] is a major opportunity and competitive advantage for those who can demonstrate that they get data protection right”, Wood said, adding that the new laws represent more of a step change in data protection regulation than “a leap into the unknown”, he said.
“Many of the fundamentals remain the same and have been known about for a long time,” Wood said. “Fairness, transparency, accuracy, security, minimisation and respect for the rights of the individual whose data you want to process – these are all things you should already be doing with data and GDPR seeks only to build on those principles.”

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