The road to GDPR compliance may have more twists and turns than a Fyodor Dostoevsky novel – and be twice as long – but it now appears that a new sense of optimism is spreading through UK businesses as data controllers realise the new regulation is not as burdensome as first feared.
So says a new study by W8 Data, carried out among the top 10 European countries by GDP, which also reveals that UK firms claim to be better prepared than their EU counterparts.
The UK is significantly ahead of other European nations in terms of its confidence towards compliance; only 29% of British organisations either don’t know about or feel totally unprepared for GDPR. In contrast, only half of German firms (52%) feel ready for GDPR. Spanish and Swedish organisations are the least prepared, with almost three quarters (73% and 71% respectively) saying they would not be ready for the new regulation. Back in November, it was claimed that, globally, the Americans are in the lead.
The W8 Data study also found that perception of GDPR in the UK has shifted over the last six months from being predominately negative to predominately positive, with increasing numbers of data controllers saying that there is more leeway in the regulation than anticipated.
Positivity regarding the new directive was also high among consumers. Although research shows that nearly four-fifths (79%) of people in the EU are unaware of GDPR, it found that 82% of those who are aware, equating to 128 million consumers across the EU, will exercise their new rights and believe it will enhance their relationships with brands.
W8 Data managing director Will Anthes said: “It is fantastic news that the UK is leading the march when it comes to compliance. We have always been at the forefront of the marketing industry and the fact that we are taking a more positive stance demonstrates our maturity and understanding of the need for better data protection.
“It is easy to be despondent given all the negativity surrounding GDPR but ultimately it will enable more responsible marketing that will lead to stronger relationships with customers.”
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