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Research finds majority of businesses failing to comply with GDPR

17 Sep 2018

Some 70% of businesses worldwide failed to address requests made from individuals seeking to obtain a copy of their personal data as required by GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) within the one-month time limit set out in the regulations, reveals research from cloud data company Talend.  The research is based on personal data requests made to 103 companies based or operating in Europe across industries including retail, media, technology, public sector, finance, and travel.

Conducted between June 1 and September 3, 2018, Talend assessed responses to GDPR Article 15 (“Right of access by the data subject”) and Article 20 (“Right to data portability”) requests, monitoring areas including GDPR references in privacy policies, and the speed and completeness of responses.  “GDPR requires insight into company data and its governance,” says 451 Research research director Penny Jones.  

“Recent research, including that done by Talend and separate reports by 451 Research, has found that while many organisations understand the importance of GDPR, many are still not taking their data seriously in terms of the technologies and processes they have in place. As a result, many businesses are falling short of their GDPR obligations.

“They can lack the proper methods for storing, organising or retrieving data in line with the regulation’s requirements.” Talend data governance products senior director Jean-Michel Franco says, “GDPR presents an opportunity to engage with customers and build loyalty. It’s vital for businesses in the digital era to have a 360-degree view of customers.”

“Businesses must ensure that data is consolidated and stored in a transparent and shareable way.

“What’s more, GDPR’s one-month time limit should be viewed as an absolute deadline rather than a target. Our research shows that it is possible for some brands to respond within a day, suggesting that these brands understand fast response times will help boost customer trust.”   Major findings from the research include:

GDPR compliance is higher outside of Europe

Just 35% of Europe-based companies polled provided data. This includes companies headquartered in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Italy. However, at 50%, the compliance rate was slightly higher for non-European companies, suggesting that businesses outside of Europe are taking a slightly more proactive approach to GDPR.

Retail firms were the worst performers 

A worrying 76% of retail companies polled failed to respond, while the best performing industry, financial services, still only managed a 50% success rate. When drilling down into the results, the research suggests that businesses that started out offline, and those that are hindered by legacy systems, may find GDPR compliance more challenging.

Significantly different response times between industries

The vast majority (65%) of GDPR compliant companies took more than ten days to respond and the overall average response time was 21 days. For some, however, the response was much quicker.

Of those who responded within the time limit (22% of companies) – primarily streaming services, mobile banking, and technology businesses – replied within just one day, suggesting that digital service companies are more agile when it comes to GDPR compliance. 

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