Most U.S. & EU companies still not prepared for new privacy law

The majority of European and American firms are not yet ready to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), reveals a recent report.

Many organizations fail to give the GDPR the attention it deserves, according to Seizing the GDPR Advantage: From Mandate to High-Value Opportunity,” a report by France-based legal tech consultant Capgemini that surveyed 1,000 executives and 6,000 consumers.

The report notes that nearly one in five organizations fail to make the GDPR a top priority, 31 per cent feel that the sole purpose of their program is to comply with the mandate by the deadline, and only 28 per cent see the GDPR as an opportunity to gain consumer trust and competitive advantage, in addition to being a compliance mandate. Moreover, it reveals that 51 per cent of organizations are either lagging or feel they will be only partially compliant by the deadline.

The report underscores that there is a “significant perception gap” between organizations and consumers around consumer data privacy and security performance. A staggering 80 per cent of executives believe that consumers trust their organization with the privacy and security of personal data. Consumers have a different take: only 52% of consumers agree with executives.

“This overconfidence can blind organizations to the improvements they need to make in data practices and prevent sufficient investment,” said the report. “Such organizations will eventually lose out as consumers increasingly demand a best in-class data protection experience.”

The global tech consultant leader strongly argues that GDPR is in fact a new opportunity waiting to be tapped but only for “organizations that get it right.” Besides enhancing employee loyalty, it maintains that consumers are “more willing to engage with organizations that protect data.”

When consumers are convinced that an organization is protecting their personal data in line with the GDPR mandate, nearly half would share their positive experiences with friends and family. Just as importantly, more than one in three consumers (39 per cent) will spend more with an organization when convinced that the organization protects their personal data.

More ominously, over 70 per cent of consumers said they are prepared to decrease spend and stop doing business with organizations in breach of GDPR compliance. In addition, 64 per cent of consumers said they are likely to request non-EU companies to delete their data if they find organizations non-compliant once the GDPR comes into effect.

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