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Legal Updates

Lack of GDPR preparation among 2.1million SMEs

12 January 2018 #Data Protection

With 5 months to go until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) kicks in, research conducted by The Data Compliance Doctors suggests an alarming amount of SMEs could be at risk of breaching the GDPR the day it comes into effect if they do not take action soon.

6 in 10 SMEs are getting ready for the GDPR.  The research has found, in particular, that:

  • Sales is the most likely business function to have been adjusted for GDPR (57%), followed closely by IT (55%), and then marketing (45%). These departments are the most likely to have received tailored training.
  • Over a quarter of these SMEs have hired new staff to help with preparations, spending an average of £13,300 on salaries.
  • Half of the SMEs questioned have invested in expert guidance/consultancy, with fees of almost £8,000.
  • 69% of business owners plan to contact customers directly for consent to retain/process their data.

However, despite this added expenditure, nearly three quarters of SMEs are without detailed documentation to provide evidence of compliance, and over two thirds have no plan in place for dealing with customer data breaches. 43% have admitted that their marketing staff have raised concerns about their current ability to handle and use data in line with GDPR. Though worrying, it just goes to show how employees are also becoming mindful of what they should and should not be doing with personal data.

While it isn’t too late to prepare, those businesses that are yet to start are leaving themselves vulnerable to both reputational and brand damage, not to mention the risk of significantly increased fines, which can be anything up to 4% of worldwide turnover or £20million, whichever is greater.

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Louise Keenan

Louise Keenan

T: 0118 960 4614
M: 0779 900 7325


Data Protection team
+44 (0)118 958 5321