GDPR: What Retailers Need to Know About the New Era of Data Privacy

Faced with an ever-evolving digital landscape, and the rise of global e-commerce and mobile commerce, the retail industry’s reliance on data has soared to historic heights. As such, it’s more important than ever for retailers to remain cognizant of international privacy regulations addressing data collection procedures.
Top of mind today is the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the most significant change to European Union (EU) data privacy policy in over two decades and the most comprehensive data privacy law U.S. retailers have ever faced.

Officially implemented as of May 25, 2018, the GDPR aims to safeguard the personal data of individuals in the EU and applies to companies that process their personal data, regardless of where the company is headquartered. The penalties of non-compliance are severe and can result in legal, reputational and financial consequence. Organizations found in violation of the GDPR can face fines of four percent of their annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is greater.

Retailers that wish to avoid such penalties must go beyond checking the box by making an overall commitment to responsible information governance and data privacy. This means developing a comprehensive understanding of the GDPR’s components, including what readiness and maintenance looks like, as well as the regulation’s retail-specific implications.

BDO’s recent Retail & Consumer Products insight, GDPR: What Retailers Need to Know About the New Era of Data Privacy, offers a comprehensive guide to help retailers navigate the new regulation. GDPR compliance needs will vary from retailer to retailer, but understanding the regulation’s central principles and implementing an overarching GDPR program, will better position retailers to drive a culture of data privacy and protection throughout their organization. This, in turn, will ultimately set them up for success and protect them from financial and reputational harm.
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