GDPR: Better Now, Not Later

The new European data protection regulation is closer than it may appear


Everyone can remember in college, at the beginning of the semester the professor start of the lecture going over the syllabus, highlighting importing assignments and with a warning about waiting to the last minute. Do not start this the night before or you cannot learn all of this material the week of the exam. And we all knew people who would treat that like a challenge, toeing the line between procrastination and utter disaster.

For many organizations, the stakes are much higher. Instead of just memorizing vocabulary words, companies need to make sure they have complete control their clients’ data all around the world. And while failing to memorize a few vocab words might ruin your Tuesday (you try remembering what evince means), failing to meet the new data protection standards set by GDPR might ruin your year.

You now might find yourself asking questions along the lines of ‘what exactly is the GDPR?’ and ‘why am I paying these fines in euros?’ I am glad you asked. In broad strokes, the GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation dictates that come May 2018 companies will have to locate and delete any European Citizen’s personally identifiable information (PII) when requested.

Maybe your organization is perfectly happy to ignore GDPR and give away 20 million euros (roughly $22 million). If that is what your financial situation is like, please find my contact information below. I’ll take cash or check. If not, you need to be prepared for these kinds of fines because this is what the GDPR will levy against organizations that are not compliant.

Okay, that’s all well and good, but my organization is not European, so this is really a non-issue for me, right? Wrong. If you have ever had a European client, and if they have one single request, it could lead to a multimillion dollar fine.

So, you could join the masses of all-nighters locked in the library, with a large black coffee, some inspirational music, and your fingers crossed. Or you can plan ahead, prepare for what’s coming, and have a strategy in place before the clock strikes midnight.

Then again, if you are okay with seeing 20 million euros fly out the door you can feel free to ignore everything you just read.

P.S: for the readers whose curiosity may be killing them…

verb formal
reveal the presence of (a quality or feeling).
"his letters evince the excitement he felt at undertaking this journey"

After being waitlisted at Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry I decided to follow my true passion, information governance in sunny California. I like pizza and root beer floats and I don’t care for mornings and vegetables.