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Wednesday, 17 June 2015 08:13

UK organisations are unprepared for new EU data laws

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Organisations aren’t ready for the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation.

EU Ministers will meet on June 24 to try and reach agreement on the details of the new Regulation, which will affect every business that stores or handles the data of EU citizens.

The results of a survey by Crown Records Management on the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation paint a worrying picture. They show many UK businesses are either unaware or unprepared for the changes with almost one in five (19.6%) not aware of the forthcoming European General Data Protection Regulation. With a quarter of businesses (25.3%) will wait for the final details of the Regulation before taking any action at all.

The Regulation, due to be discussed again by the EU Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the EU on June 24, is predicted to be ratified in the next 12 months and in place during 2017.

 Of those surveyed more than half (52%) who know about the Regulation still aren’t currently reviewing policies, and just over two in five (42.5%) of decision makers in companies with a turnover of more than £500m are ‘not really concerned’ or ‘not concerned at all’ about the impact of the new structure.

Of those businesses that were ready for the legislation those in facilities management were ahead of the game in staff training with 60% introducing new programmes, and two thirds of those in the insurance sector are currently reviewing policies in preparation, with nearly half of pharmaceutical companies have already appointed a Data Protection Officer, but only 24% in retail.

Commenting on the findings John Culkin, Director of Information Management at Crown Records Management said: “These results shows UK businesses are leaving it dangerously late to prepare for the EU General Data Protection Regulation and are worryingly uninformed.

“For big companies to say, for instance, they are ‘not concerned’ means they are not concerned about potential fines of 100m Euros, or five per cent of global turnover. Considering most companies of that size are likely to be part of the FTSE 350, how many shares does that represent? How would such a fine affect dividends?

“But the important question is not just whether businesses are worried or not, but whether they are being proactive and taking early action to prepare. Our advice is that waiting too long could be a very dangerous game.”

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