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Benelux GCs least prepared for new data sharing regulations

Posted by: Laurence Simons 31/10/16
With the threat and sophistication of cyber-attacks growing rapidly, data protection is becoming an ever more pressing issue for General Counsels. A global survey on the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), found that Benelux companies feel the least prepared for the implementation of the new regulation in May 2018.

The GDPR is set to replace the EU’s current data protection regulation, the Data Protection Directive (DPD), and was designed to strengthen protection of personal data for all EU citizens and will affect businesses of all sizes when it comes into force. The GDPR heightens the requirements of the DPD, particularly with regard to how personal data can be collected, processed and transferred, and passes more power over to national data protection authorities and gives them greater authority to enforce fines.

The ‘GDPR: Perceptions and Readiness’ survey, conducted by Dell and Dimensional Research, found that respondents in Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) feel least prepared for the new regulation, with only 26% indicating that they are ready for the impending changes. The research indicates that Benelux falls behind other European leaders in terms of preparedness, with compliance professionals in Germany, the UK and Sweden all indicating that they feel more equipped to deal with changes.

The survey also found that across Europe as a whole, less than half of professionals in charge of data protection think they would have been in compliance this year, indicating that General Counsels have a long way to go in terms of ensuring that their companies are prepared for the changes to come into force. Indeed, as the public become ever more aware of the importance of data protection, those who fail to ensure their procedures are fully compliant with new regulations could find themselves under significant scrutiny.

Demand for general counsels, and in house professionals in general, with experience in data protection in particular will no doubt be in high demand in the Benelux countries as they prepare for the changes to come into effect.
Tagged In: Europe, General counsel
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