When the EU General Data Protection Regulation was announced last year, many business owners immediately panicked at the prospect of eye-watering fines and onerous obligations. But with almost a year left until it comes into force, the focus has shifted to how the process of becoming compliant could leave businesses better off.
GDPR was developed to safeguard the privacy of EU citizens by giving them greater rights around protecting their personal information. In the process, it’s thought this will increase trust in online services such as e-commerce.
Eoin Keary, CEO of Edgescan, says there is a business benefit in proving to consumers that their services are trusted and have been security tested.
“It will make those sort of efforts, which were traditionally considered as a tax or an overhead, as something that will enable you to do business. If you can prove that the products, services or applications you supply fulfil the principles of GDPR, you will probably get more business,” Keary says.
One of the key principles of GDPR gives individuals the ‘right to erasure’. Also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’, this means they can ask organisations holding data about them to delete all copies of that information.
To comply with these requests, businesses and public sector agencies will need to know what data they store, and where it is held.
Over time, many organisations created unnecessary copies of digital data which they are now paying to keep and store. Keith O’Leary, principal consultant with Sungard Availability Services, says businesses could save significant money on data storage costs by reducing or removing extra copies of data that they no longer need.
This ‘housecleaning’ could also simplify a company’s processes for backing up its data and its recovery plan in the event of a systems failure, he adds.