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Data protection paper

As the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is due to be formally adopted, a data privacy and security company has launched a white paper on the ramifications of the new regulations; and how data projects, including those fuelling analytics, machine learning and AI projects will need to be delivered in the future.

The GDPR will modernise legislation that safeguards personal data within the EU and establish new regulations that will profoundly change the way organisations use and protect customer data, says Privitar. With non-compliant businesses facing fines of up to four percent of annual global turnover, understanding and finding the capacity to exceed regulatory and market expectations has never been so important. With the mandated changes to consent models, if businesses don’t get this right, consumers may simply choose to indiscriminately restrict the use of their personal data, posing a real threat to the data-driven economy across all sectors, it is claimed. The white paper sets out an approach to ensuring compliance, while recognising the value in data assets.

Once the GDPR passes into law over the next few months, there will be a two-year grace period as time to comply. The whitepaper lays out the fundamental issues to face up to when planning big data analytics, including the need to provide the most robust possible Privacy by Design (PbD) solution upon which regulatory approval will be dependent. The whitepaper explains that while PbD is required, it is currently not a substantively defined term in the context of Big Data projects – there exists no commonly shared understanding of what it entails. According to the authors, the white paper looks to provide a non-contentious definition, while laying out a step-by-step guide for business to comply.

The issue of data privacy is becoming a priority for businesses, according to the firm. Recent research from Privitar1 found that a company’s record for protecting and respecting customer data is now one of the main considerations for consumers when choosing a service, ranking ahead of where a company is based or how large the service provider is. Some 23pc of Brits have been (knowingly) affected by an online security breach, it is claimed; and almost a quarter (24pc) of these – nearly three million consumers – have switched service provider as a direct result.

The research also indicated that the way businesses manage and process data will have a direct impact on brand and customer loyalty, with 83pc of consumers saying they would switch to another service if they believed it could better manage their data. However, despite this, transparency is still an issue, with the majority (52pc) of consumers saying they find it difficult to find information about how their personal data is stored and used by companies.

Jason du Preez, CEO of Privitar, said: “Our global economy is dependent on data driven decision-making. Entire industries are being transformed by using data to create personalised products and services in every sector imaginable. The GDPR represents a sea change in how big data analytics investments can be designed, delivered and leveraged. Organisations have two years to comply with GDPR, but those that are proactive can gain competitive advantage by winning customer trust. The more customers understand how their data is being used and for what purpose, the less likely they are to opt out simply because they do not understand the arrangement in place. Organisations should look to adopt leading technology solutions to add privacy protections, particularly as part of big data analytics infrastructure and clearly communicate with their customers as to how they are protecting and using their data.”

The whitepaper can be downloaded from


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