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GDPR – the costs of getting it wrong

Did you know that if you get your data compliance wrong under the new GDPR regulations it wrong it could be the end of your business?  That may sound melodramatic, but the scale of potential fines is much more than anything we’ve seen before – big enough to pose a serious risk to the ability of any but the biggest players to survive.

Much more than just a slap on the wrist

Previously, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) had the ability to impose fines of up to £500,000; under GDPR, that cap is being raised to €20 million! To put things in perspective, in 2016, TalkTalk were fined £400,000 for security failings that allowed hackers to access customer data.  Under the new regulations, many experts predict that TalkTalk would have paid £59 million for their multiple breaches instead!

There will be two levels of fines that come with breaking the GDPR’s rules:

  • Low level: Up to €10 million (£8.8 million) or 2% of the company’s global annual turnover (whichever is higher)
  • High level: Up to €20 million (£17.6 million) or 4% of the company’s global annual turnover (whichever is higher) 

Variable fines

All fines will obviously depend on a number of variables, including:

  • What the intentions of the business were and whether the breach was due to harmful intentions or an accident
  • How many people were affected
  • Whether you have previous infringements
  • The data policies that you had in place 

Post-Brexit relevance

If you’re based in the UK, don’t go thinking that because of Brexit these new European rules won’t apply to you. UK companies will need to follow the GDPR whilst we are still part of the EU. After we leave, any company with any EU citizens as customers will need to be compliant with the new legal obligations, regardless of where in the world the company is based.  To help you get it right, have a look at our other blogs: 

Now you know how important it is to get this right! Don’t let the GDPR be the end of your business: make sure you’re in the clear and compliant with the new rules by the May 2018 deadline.

To find out more about how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing, email communications@sharpminds.agency

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