The General Data Protection Regulation, commonly known as GDPR, is a set of laws in the EU designed to protect the data privacy of EU citizens. Implemented in 2018, a large number of businesses across the continent have already been caught violating these laws and are now paying the price, this could have been avoided by using reputable data protection services.
If your business is on the internet and you’re servicing EU citizens, GDPR compliance is a must. And in the post-Brexit landscape, complying with these European laws has become a bit more complicated for UK businesses.
In this article, we’ll talk about what GDPR looks like for UK businesses, what happens when you fail to comply with it, and how you can ensure GDPR compliance in 2023 and onwards.
An Overview of GDPR and What it Means for UK Businesses
Despite the fact that the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union, many UK-based businesses continue to trade with EU-member countries. And if you run a business that serves EU-based citizens, it’s imperative that you comply with GDPR or else, you’ll face some pretty hefty consequences.
The GDPR requires all companies that serve EU citizens to comply, regardless of the business type or its location. And while this may seem simple, the number of laws under GDPR can make it quite complicated for businesses to fully comply.
One of the key components of GDPR compliance is transparency. Under these laws, websites serving EU citizens must always process the personal data of customers in ways that comply with EU law. This means only using data for approved purposes, never storing personal data longer than necessary, ensuring data accuracy, among other requirements.
Failure to fully comply can result in fines of up to €10 million or 2% of the company’s worldwide turnover in the previous financial year. So, GDPR compliance is a must for any UK website that deals with customers of European countries. To give you a better idea of why it’s essential, let’s look at some of the consequences of violating the GDPR.
Consequences of Violating GDPR
The GDPR contains a large set of laws and repercussions that can sometimes be hard to keep track of. That said, here are some of the most common repercussions of violating GDPR that UK businesses need to be wary of.
The Business’ Reputation Suffers
A type of consequence that might not ring any bells right off the bat, but since more and more people are starting to become aware of data privacy on the internet, you definitely don’t want to be known as the brand that doesn’t take the proper measures to protect its customers.
Violating GDPR can result in fewer customers, less trust, and increased spend on PR to try and regain the trust of those affected and the many doubting doing business with your company moving forward.
The biggest consequence of noncompliance with GDPR is a hefty fine. The entire list of laws under GDPR clearly lays out the fines and consequences for various violations. However, the difference between GDPR and other data protection laws is that the fines under the GDPR can be quite extreme.
Generally, the fines will not exceed a value of 20 million euros. However, the law states that GDPR fines can reach up to 4% of the business’s total financial turnover. This can be a huge blow to a business, making it even more important to ensure compliance with GDPR laws.
Threat of Legal Action
When companies violate GDPR, every individual whose data has been compromised has the right to take legal action against the company that has failed to protect their data. If the scale of the GDPR violation affects a large number of people, then that could put the company in very deep trouble rather quickly.
Ensuring GDPR Compliance in 2023
While it’s crucial for UK businesses that reach an EU audience to comply with GDPR, actually doing so is no easy task. This is why it’s highly encouraged for companies to have dedicated teams or hire experts in GDPR compliance to make sure that they follow the law to the T.
Aside from following all the laws, it’s important to document the entire process so you can easily demonstrate your compliance to the appropriate agencies. While this can take a lot of time and effort, noncompliance with GDPR can do significant financial damage to your business. So, this is one of the investments that you will have to make to protect your company in the long run.
The GDPR set of laws and regulations can be complicated and hard to understand. There are many parameters and rules in place under this new data protection act, and failure to comply with it can have some severe consequences. This is why ensuring GDPR compliance should be a number one priority for all UK businesses that target an EU market.