Consumer goods firms unprepared for GDPR, risk a lot

If GDPR were in effect today, consumer products organisations would risk more than $320 billion in fines, a new report by Capgemini Consulting's Digital Transformation Institute says.

Surely, these numbers are at their highest maximum, but the point stands – businesses are not yet prepared for the inevitable arrival of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The report, which is based on a survey of 300 executives at 86 large global consumer products firms with combined revenue of over $756 billion, is entitled “Consumer Insights: Finding and Guarding the Treasure Trove”, and can be found on this link.

It says that the industry is 'caught between the efforts to drive increased value through consumer data analysis, and customer concerns about privacy and security.'

Just above a third (36 per cent) of UK respondents said they had set up clear, non-negotiable policies on customer data security and privacy – lower of any other market in the world. A total of 12 per cent of UK respondents said they've been 'very successful' with their insight exploitation so far – the highest of any European markets.

A half of UK respondents said their security practices do not fully comply with industry standards.

“While the official date for implementation is 2018, the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation is coming much more quickly than people seem to realise, and the consumer products industry appears not yet to be prepared,” said Kees Jacobs, Consumer Goods & Retail Lead, Insights & Data Global Practice, Capgemini.

“Finding the balance between sensitively handling consumer data, ensuring that information is secure, and using consumer insights to deliver a better experience is extremely challenging. Consumer trust is at stake, and in many instances it’s clear that the risks have either been overlooked or ignored. This is an issue organisations have to tackle quickly if they are to avoid not only reputational damage but serious sanctions.”

Image source: Shutterstock/Artem Samokhvalov