UK businesses far more confident re GDPR than their European counterparts
UK businesses far more confident re GDPR than their European counterparts
More than 70 percent of British businesses are confident about their understanding of GDPR and their preparations for the upcoming data security legislation, compared to just 52 percent and 27 percent businesses in Germany and Spain respectively, new research has revealed.

A new study conducted by data specialist W8 Data among businesses in Europe's top 10 economies has revealed the extent to which businesses understand the rules laid out in the GDPR and their level of preparedness for the new law which will come into effect on 25 May.

The study revealed that 29 percent of businesses in the UK either do not know about or feel totally unprepared for GDPR. This should be a matter of concern as this percentage represents almost one in every three businesses being unaware of what GDPR will entail. However, compared to other top economies in Europe, British businesses are, at present, much better placed.

For example, 48 percent businesses in Germany feel that they are not ready for GDPR, and the readiness quotient declines further in Spain and Sweden where 73 percent and 71 percent respectively feel they are not ready for the upcoming data security legislation.

'It is fantastic news that the UK is leading the march when it comes to compliance. We have always been at the forefront of the marketing industry and the fact that we are taking a more positive stance demonstrates our maturity and understanding of the need for better data protection,' says Will Anthes, managing director at W8 Data.

'It is easy to be despondent given all the negativity surrounding GDPR but ultimately it will enable more responsible marketing that will lead to stronger relationships with customers,' he adds.

Even though businesses need to do a lot more to enhance their understanding of GDPR and to prepare for it to avoid huge fines in the future, significant progress has been made in the past one and a half years as well. 

For instance, an eye-opening survey from Symantec in October 2016 revealed that 96 percent of businesses did not fully understand GDPR, 54 percent were not confident of meeting customers' data security expectations, and only 22 percent considered compliance with GDPR a top priority for the next two years.

Aside from revealing the progress made so far by British businesses, the W8 Data study also revealed that among the general public both in the UK and in the rest of Europe, awareness about GDPR is quite low even though the legislation has been drafted keeping their privacy concerns and data security in mind. 

Over 79 percent of people are, at present, unaware of GDPR, but of those that are aware, over 82 percent have said they 'will exercise their new rights and believe it will enhance their relationships with brands'.