Industry warned over GDPR preparation failure

Industry warned over GDPR preparation failure

Thursday, May 25, 2017 Posted by James Walker
David Clifton, director of Clifton Davies Consultancy

Licensing expert David Clifton believes that the gambling industry has put its plans to deal with new data regulations “on the back-burner” despite the need to be fully prepared for its implementation next year.

Research findings from DMA, a trade association for the marketing industry, suggested that nearly half of UK businesses will not be ready in time for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and Clifton fears that this is also the case in gambling.

According to DMA, just over 54% of businesses are on course or ahead of their plans to be ready by 26 May 2018. In fact, this month’s guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may have caused more concern than assistance, as this figure is down from 68% in February.

Awareness of the GDPR remains high at 96%, but the figures suggest that many feel less prepared than earlier in the year, highlighted by the third chapter of DMA’s ‘GDPR and you’ series which shows that the number of ‘extremely’ or ‘somewhat’ prepared marketers slipped from 71% to 61%. A quarter of the companies involved in the research are yet to even start a GDPR plan.

Since the DMA last ran this research in February, the perception of the GDPR from marketers has changed significantly, with the amount saying they will be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ affected climbing from 44% to 54% of the total. The biggest concerns for the new regulation relate to consent (68%), legacy data (48%), implementing a compliant system (38%) and profiling (30%).

David Clifton, a director at Clifton Davies Consultancy, told TotallyGaming.com: “I am sorry to say that these research findings do not surprise me at all. I have been speaking at conferences, delivering seminars and writing numerous articles in the gambling industry press on this subject for more than a year, warning about the need to prepare well in advance for implementation of GDPR in May next year.

“Whilst many operators know that GDPR is coming despite the Brexit vote, a sizeable proportion have seemed content to put preparation on the back-burner.

“Taking into account such issues as the effect of GDPR on operators' dealings with affiliates, the need to appoint a suitably qualified Data Protection Officer and the problem of how to deal with requests by customers to exercise their right to erasure of their personal data, it is essential that those operators who have not yet started preparing do so now without any further delay.

“That is not least because the ICO will be empowered to impose fines of up to 4% of annual worldwide turnover (€20 million maximum) for the most serious infringements of the GDPR.”

Totally Gaming says: It is surprising to see that so many businesses have failed to prioritise preparation for the GDPR, given that DMA research found that 93% of marketers understand that this new regulation will happen in one form or another regardless of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. With the flow of data so important to business these days, it is important that the new rules are properly digested in time.

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