Unknown data hoarding a challenge for GDPR compliance

Late last week, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been approved, looking to protect the data of European citizens, and organise and regulate the companies that use that data.

With just slightly more than two years to become compliant, there’s a lot of work to be done for UK companies. Commenting on the GDPR, information management business Veritas says it will be a challenging task, as companies don’t even know what half of their data contains in the first place.

Before anything is done, companies need to illumine the 52 per cent of unknown data.

“GDPR is the biggest change to data protection laws in more than 20 years. Any organisation that handles personal data of EU citizens, of any kind, will be strictly obliged to review, and potentially overhaul, nearly all of their information management processes,” says David Moseley, Global Solutions at Veritas.

“Our own research shows that globally, 52 per cent of the information organisations are storing and hoarding is completely unknown – even to them, we call this ‘Dark Data’. Furthermore, 40 per cent of stored data hasn’t even been looked at in more than three years. How can companies know they’re compliant if they don’t even know what they’re storing? This is why GDPR represents such a potentially massive task, and businesses need to start tackling it now.”

One man’s threat is another man’s opportunity, goes the saying, and Moseley believes it will be the same with GDPR.

“Yet GDPR represents as much of an opportunity for first movers as it does a threat to laggards. Businesses that get their data under control will discover new and valuable insights into the information they’re storing. And in today’s world, your information is your competitive advantage.”

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