Under 10% of firms are GDPR compliant

In the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data misuse, public attention around the importance of data privacy has been heightened. Yet, with only a month until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline comes into effect, 93 per cent of respondents to a new survey from business analytics leader SAS say they are not yet fully GDPR compliant.

Less than half (49 per cent) of the global organisations surveyed reported that they expect to be compliant when GDPR goes into effect May 25th. The EU, UK and Ireland are slightly more prepared than the US, with 53 per cent of EU and 54 per cent of UK and Irish organisations surveyed expecting to meet the deadline, compared to just 30 per cent stateside.

The GDPR gives EU residents privacy rights that give them greater control over how companies handle their personal data. Any organisation that is storing or processing data on EU residents may have GDPR compliance obligations, even if the organisation isn’t in the EU.

In February, SAS conducted a global survey of 183 business people in a wide variety of industries who have a role in preparing their organisations for GDPR. The survey highlights the biggest challenges and opportunities they face on the road to GDPR compliance. 

“Despite the long run-up to GDPR, the vast majority of UK organisations still don’t have processes in place to manage their data in compliance with the new rules,” said David Smith, Head of GDPR Technology, SAS UK & Ireland. “At this point, senior leadership needs to take ownership of getting the whole company on board, from IT to operations, to make sure that all personal data is accurately located and appropriately handled.”

Though the survey shows that most organisations are not ready for the fast-approaching GDPR deadline, they are working to become compliant (93 per cent have a plan in place or expect to have one). And the majority of respondents anticipate benefits for their organisations that will result from their efforts to become GDPR compliant.

In fact, 84 per cent of all respondents and 79 per cent of UK and Irish respondents, said they expect GDPR to improve their data governance. Sixty-eight per cent worldwide and 81 per cent of UK and Irish respondents also anticipate that GDPR will increase trust between them and their customers. Improved personal data quality, enhanced organisational image, and a move toward a data-driven organisation were additional benefits they expect to gain from GDPR compliance.

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