Last night, the delegates from the Leader Insights Forum took in the sights of Amsterdam from a boat that took us around the canals on a circuit allowing plenty of time to enjoy dinner and conversation. As we boarded the vessel, our Captain warned us to not smoke or fall from the edge of the boat – sensible advice!
Nobody fell out of the boat so we are all present once again for the concluding session of the forum this morning. Today we will be hearing Simon McDougall, the Managing Director of Promontory, talk about data protection with a particular focus on GDPR.
The General Data Protection Regulation is EU legislation designed to give consumers control over their own data. It was introduced in 2016, but enforcement will only begin in May this year and many companies are worried about the implications as it is a very comprehensive framework of controls – especially compared to any existing laws.
In general GDPR creates a different approach to data. Companies must ask consumers for their data and explain how it will be used. Companies that fail to explain what they are doing with the data or who abusively harvest or use customer data can be fined up to €20m or 4% of their annual turnover (whichever is greater) and in a legal action the company will be guilty until proven innocent – so most executives will want to avoid any claims at all.
In the past week the value of data has been front-page news with an enormous scandal erupting because a data analysis company in the UK was capturing information on millions of Facebook users. This story is dominating the new agenda because many consumers are unaware how much personal data they freely give away to companies or how it is used. GDPR is an attempt by the EU regulators to give control back to the consumer.
Will it work? Which companies will be in trouble first? Simon will be on stage at 09:00 this morning to give us his expert view on data privacy and what GDPR really means for us as consumers and for executives who need to plan how to safely use customer data.
If you are not here at the event in Amsterdam then please feel free to send your own questions about data, privacy, and GDPR to us via Twitter. We can ensure that Simon gets the extra questions during the Q&A session.