The headlines are scary, but the reality is ‘opportunity’, said speakers at the recent GDPR summit London.

A mere one in four adults trust businesses with their data, said Darren Spence, Chief Revenue Officer, GRAVICUS, quoting data from the ICO, the UK regulator in privacy.

That is why GDPR is an opportunity, by forcing privacy into the forefront, “trust can be restored,” he said.

So by focusing on data, GDPR can enhance the customer experience.

And there is the issue of cost too – GDPR means getting rid of data you don’t need, or limiting unnecessary duplication – that means cost saving.

Chris Scott, Data Protection Officer, The Bunker, expressed similar views.

“There is a perception,” he said, that come May 25th 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulation becomes enforceable, that data protection officers and regulators will be “afforded god-like powers.”

But he said, GDPR is not out to get you.

On this theme, Darren Spence said: “GDPR can create new business models that foster trust.”

“For supply chain management it is win, win,” said Chris  Scott. He added: Those who can demonstrate compliance will win business.”

He continued: “GDPR’s focus is on data security, reducing risk to cybercrime. Comply with the regulation and you naturally become a trusted supplier.”

Continuing on the theme of why GDPR could be good for business, he said that if you can demonstrate your accountability and readiness for GDPR via technical and  operational measures such as contracts you will grow your business.

He added that business processes reviews, which GDPR requires, drive operational improvements reducing overheads and can identify opportunity.”

And failure to keep trust with customers can hit the share price too, the Talk Talk share price fell sharply after its breaches in privacy, for example.

But that does not mean that getting a company to give GDPR the weight it deserves is plain sailing.

Lack of management support can hold back efforts to comply with GDPR; lack of understanding of the regulation is a problem too. But one of the challenges relates to corporate wide culture. If GDPR is seen as an operational issue and not a business one, it may not be given appropriate priority.

Darren Spence put it this way: “Consumer trust is one of the holy grails for most responsible organisations. And they equate it to profit.

For more information on the next GDPR Summit, visit the website.

GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help businesses to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond.

Further information and conference details are available at