Plenty of large companies and concerned experts were quick to dismiss the GDPR as yet another administrative burden levied upon them by the Big Government – or, rather, the EU figureheads who are out of touch with the economic realities.
While that may be true for other legislative acts, there is barely any mention of such intentions in the GDPR. In fact, there’s plenty to look forward to even if your goals don’t include strengthening of the individuals’ privacy rights.
1. Level Playing Field
The GDPR is great news for small businesses, and it is no wonder large companies do not take kindly to the GDPR. The GDPR makes it clear – the rules are the same for all in the entire EU. The existence of different and inconsistent privacy laws did not present a huge obstacle to multinational corporations and their legal teams, who are now losing their comparative advantage.
The supervisory authorities in each of the EU Member States are responsible for ensuring adherence to the harmonised provisions of the GDPR, and the requirements are the same for all.
Additionally, SMEs are given certain exemptions regarding record-keeping, to further lower the administrative burden they have and limit the disproportionate impact of ensuring compliance.
2. Easy Expansion
Since the law will be the same in the entire EU, expanding into another EU country becomes a rather trivial matter, instead of an exercise in patience, requiring expert lawyers. It does not even require the communication with several supervisory authorities, as the authority in the main country of establishment becomes the lead authority.
There are almost no new regulations to watch out for in other EU countries. If you are GDPR compliant in one, you can be certain you will be compliant in others. This will foster better competition and enable businesses to easily compete in all 28 countries, finally bringing us one step closer towards the EU ideal of the common market.
3. Improved Data Security
The GDPR will impose the accountability requirement when it comes to your data. You must always have total control over all personal data you have. This means knowing where your data is, who has access to it and why you have the data in the first place. Employing encryption and pseudonymisation methods when needed is obligatory, too.
This is a boon for data security, since you will have a clear understanding of your data. It is much easier to apply the organisational and technical data measures that way. Your data processing and storing standards will have to be exemplary in order to prove compliance. In turn, your company will encounter a significantly lower risk of breaches that could have catastrophic consequences.
4. Lower Storage Costs
It is unwise and dangerous to store unneeded personal data. The GDPR mandates deletion of all unnecessary personal data as soon as it has served its purpose. If you collect payment data in your web shop, for example, you should delete it as soon as the transaction is over, as a rule of thumb.
The benefits are not only achieved security-wise. Storing large amount of data costs money and consumes bandwidth. This ROT data (redundant, outdated, trivial) is often created when there is little oversight over how data is accessed.
Data can often be copied many times, wasting resources and, in the wake of the GDPR, causing compliance issues. Cleaning this data could save you more than you have imagined, especially if you have paper files that are literally using up space.
5. Clear Enforcement
The GDPR aims to provide a solid basis for the years to come, by considering the challenges that the modern technologies may pose to our privacy. It does not explicitly mention any in an effort to stay future-proof for as long as possible.
It does contain solid guidelines and prescriptions that can be applied universally, though. The obligations are clearly outlined and the fines even more so. We can also expect a great degree of consistency in the enforcement owing to the built-in consistency mechanism and communication between the supervisory authorities.
Do you think the GDPR will bring any good to your business? Let us know in the comment box below.