While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) go into effect in all European Union states on May 25, there is no guarantee that all companies and organizations that do business or employ EU citizens will be in compliance with the regulations. As a matter of fact, the predictions are not optimistic.
The research firm Forrester has just released its trends and technology predictions for 2018, “Predictions 2018: A Year of Reckoning”. Its investigation states that 8 out of every ten companies will be non-compliant, in spite of the fact that these businesses and organizations will face significant costs for their breach.
Where will the greatest offences occur? Half of them will intentionally refuse to comply. It would seem that they have weighed the cost of these fines against the cost of complying and decided to take their chances. They risk being found out — or not. Given the large number of businesses that entails, the odds may very well be in their favour.
The other half in noncompliance either doe not know what the regulations require of them or they do not know how to comply.
The Forrester research is not limited to GDPR compliance. It also looks at such industrial trends as digital transformation, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain initiatives as they pertain to GDPR standards.
A major question of companies who must comply with GDPR regulations and of those in positions to enforce those regulations must be: Who is going to report organizations in noncompliance? Who is going to investigate those reports? How are non-compliant organizations going to be penalized?
The official word is that no one knows for sure. Yes. There are regulations which lay out the maximum penalties. These differ depending on the offense. Moreover, the GDPR regulations note that these punishments are “effective, proportionate to the offense, and dissuasive”. What does that even mean? Is the first offense a slap on the wrist?
Has the media over-sensationalized their predictions? Will fines, punishments be, in fact, a non-event? Clearly 8 of 10 businesses polled think so.