I have given GDPR a lot of thought recently after talking to so many small businesses.
While large firms have lawyers and public affairs people to handle regulation like this, smaller firms can really struggle and many remain confused.
That is why I said the following in a letter to newspapers across London this week – “The aims of the legislation may be laudable but the burden on small businesses, & concerns over international data flows, means legislators everywhere need to be more aware of unintended consequences”
Here is a copy of my letter.
Londoners have recently been subjected to a bombardment of messages
about GDPR – the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
Some of us found them infuriating, some funny. While most of welcome
more information about how our data is used, concerns over the
heavy-handed approach have also been raised. The United States
government is certainly not amused, for the US Commerce Secretary
Wilbur Ross has written an article expressing “deep concern” about the
impact of GDPR on trans-Atlantic co-operation and trade.
Specifically he fears for the future of joint enterprise in areas such
as financial regulation, medical research, emergency management and
commerce. He warns of unnecessary barriers to trade, not only for the
US but for everyone outside the EU.
Mr Ross also points out that compliance already cost businesses
billions, with the biggest brunt borne by smaller businesses.
In response, some non-EU media outlets stopped offering their services
to people in the EU for fear of breaking new GDPR rules.
Not good news for Londoners wishing to access global services. While
the aims of the legislation may be laudable, the burden on small
businesses, and concerns over international data flows, means
legislators everywhere need to be more aware of the unintended
consequences that new laws can bring.