"I think this study has painted a really interesting and slightly concerning picture of how seriously some North West businesses are taking GDPR"
Tom Moore, Managing Director of Litmos Heroes
Despite the threat of fines of up to 20 million Euros for non-compliance, more than one in five North West business leaders admit they have never even heard of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a study from Warrington-based learning provider Litmos Heroes has found.
With less than eight months to go until the wide-ranging new EU regulations come into force, the research of more than 500 UK business leaders and decision makers discovered that 22 per cent of North West businesses are in the dark about the law changes.
Just 54 per cent are currently making changes to ensure their business is ready and worryingly, 86 per cent admitted that if the regulation was brought in tomorrow, they wouldn’t be ready.
The research, which was carried out to mark the launch of Litmos Heroes’ new GDPR course for global businesses and SMEs, also found that three per cent of those asked confessed that they don’t plan to do anything at all to meet the regulation’s guidelines, despite the May 2018 deadline looming large.
Tom Moore, Managing Director of Litmos Heroes, said that now was the time for businesses to act.
“I think this study has painted a really interesting – and slightly concerning – picture of how seriously some North West businesses are taking GDPR,” he said. “Make no mistake, the new regulation is coming, and if you handle the data of any EU citizen – Brexit or no Brexit – it will apply to your business.
“Around ten per cent of the North West business leaders included in our survey said they didn’t think GDPR would be strictly enforced, but come May 2018 they still need to be ready, because this is going to be enforced whether we like it or not.
“It’s this stark picture – and the worrying lack of knowledge and general awareness about GDPR – that has encouraged our team to produce a need-to-know video training module to help businesses and leaders get GDPR-ready.”
The GDPR was adopted into law by the EU Parliament in April 2016 and, from May 25, 2018, it will apply to all companies processing and holding the personal data of people who live in the EU, regardless of where the business is located.
It was designed to make sure that data privacy was standardised across Europe, to protect citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way that businesses right across the region think about and implement data privacy.
The penalties for failing to comply are potentially huge. Organisations that fail to meet the regulation can be fined up to four per cent of their annual global turnover, up to a maximum of 20 million Euros.
Businesses in London were found to be the most clued up on GDPR with just 16 per cent saying they had never heard of it.
Nationally, almost a third of UK business leaders admit they have never even heard of the GDPR.
More than 30 per cent said they have done nothing at all towards becoming GDPR-ready – and ten per cent said they don’t plan to, despite the deadline looming large.
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For more information on the range of course available or to request a free trial, visit www.litmosheroes.com.