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GDPR: How much time are companies spending in preparation for the new data regulation?

Small businesses in the UK have spent an average of 600 hours each preparing for the arrival of GDPR in the past year.

Research carried out by The Data Compliance Doctors found the average SME in the UK has spent 80 days getting ready for the new data protection rules, which come into force on 25 May 2018.

And yet, some 39% of small firms said they had not even started their preparations to deal with the new legislation which shakes up the way companies can use personal data. Nearly three-quarters don’t have documentation in place to prove their compliance, and two-thirds have no plan to deal with a data breach.

In addition, the poll of 500 small business owners found a quarter had hired new staff to handle compliance, and half had spent an average of £8000 on external guidance and consultancy to prepare.

Lisa Chittenden, data compliance doctor at The Data Compliance Doctors, said: “I’d caution those businesses planning to contact customers direct for data consent, as opt-in communications can dramatically reduce the number of customers you can talk to. However, there’s a variety of other ways to make data eligible for marketing use – some of which provide greater scope to keep historic information.

“A third are unaware of the different permission types, so I’d encourage them to seek expert advice or do some research to ensure they’re fully compliant,” she added.

This month, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched a helpline for small organisations to help them prepare for GDPR. SMEs can call 0303 123 1113 and select option four to request support.

Last week a study by the DMA revealed 71% of marketers viewed GDPR as a unique opportunity to create more creative campaigns for customers.

Getting to grips with the GDPR: A B2B marketer’s guide

This free comprehensive guide explains what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is, how this incoming data protection law will affect your organisation, and the practical steps to take to prepare for it.

Learn how to comply with GDPR

GDPR for B2B marketers: Everything you need to know and do image