Most firms not ready for personal data protection rule, study finds

The majority of Greek firms have yet to adapt their business models to comply with a new personal data protection rule to soon be introduced by the European Commission, SEV, the Hellenic Association of Industrialists, has concluded in a special report published yesterday.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a strict measure carrying hefty fines, is set to be implemented on May 25.

Enterprises heavily reliant on telephone marketing practices for business, including independent electricity suppliers seeking market share gains amid the liberalized Greek electricity market, have expressed concerns ahead of the GDPR measure.

Independent electricity suppliers have noted the rule’s implementation will severely restrict their ongoing efforts to increase retail electricity market shares.

The new rule will forbid personal data from being used by enterprises if consumers have not previously provided their full consent. Violators will face hefty penalties reaching as much as 4 percent of company revenues.

The imminent measure’s impact is expected to be widespread, reaching well beyond the electricity market. According to a study conducted by the business services group ICAP in December, based on a sample of 2,010 enterprises, nearly one in four firms said they have not yet taken any measures to comply with the personal data protection measure, while 57.7 percent noted that they partially complying.

Quite obviously, the majority of firms need to make adjustments to their operating plans in the little time that remains before the GDPR rule is imposed.

Another study conducted last month by SEV, the local industrialists group, based on a sample of 35 enterprises, showed that eight in ten firms have either partially adjusted their marketing practices or taken no action at all, ahead of the new personal data protection rule.

SEV rated the degree of readiness of Greek enterprises as medium. Smaller firms, in particular, have plenty of work to do, the association concluded.

The association, in its report, questions whether Greek enterprises will view the personal data protection rule as yet another regulatory obligation or as an opportunity for business model revisions in line with the global digital economy.

The association noted that enterprises willing to embrace personal data protection rules stand to ultimately gain as the adjustment, a gesture of respect for consumers and personal data, will provide a comparative advantage in the marketplace.