The 25 May General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline has finally passed, but research from the previous week revealed that 85% of firms in Europe and the US would not be ready in time—and a quarter confessed they would not be fully compliant by the end of the year.
The study by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute (DTI)—Seizing the GDPR advantage: from mandate to high-value opportunity—surveyed 1,000 executives from organisations with revenue of more than $1bn, and 6,000 consumers across eight markets to explore readiness for, and the opportunities of GDPR.
It found that British businesses were the most advanced, despite only 55% reporting they would be largely or completely compliant by the deadline. Spain (54%), Germany (51%) and the Netherlands (51%) are close behind, but only 33% of Swedish firms said they would be largely or completely compliant on time.
The research suggests that firms who got ahead of the deadline, and invested in compliance and data transparency with consumers, are starting to reap the rewards: 39% of consumers who believed an organisation protects their personal data have bought more products and increased spend with that firm by as much as 24% as a result.
In addition, 40% have transacted more frequently with the organisation, either a few times or on a regular basis, and 49% said they have shared positive experiences with friends and family, bolstering a firm’s reputation.
Organisations also appear to be deluding themselves on consumer determination to safeguard their data: 71% of executives believe consumers will not take any significant action, yet the research showed that 57% of individuals will take action if a firm is failing to adequately protect their personal data.
Of these, 71% said they would reduce their spending with offending firms, 71% would stop doing business with them, and 73% said they would share their negative experiences with family and friends.
“Executives now have a great chance to use GDPR to put in place a customer-first privacy strategy, which will create a significant business opportunity,” said Willem de Paepe, global GDPR leader at Capgemini.
He added: “Beyond gaining consumer confidence and increased spending, knowing exactly what data is held allows firms to use analytics more effectively and improve operations.
“Firms will also know which files they must delete, freeing up valuable storage space and reducing some of the $3.3trn it will cost to manage data globally by 2020.”