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As Bill Gates once remarked, "Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other." Truer words are hardly spoken today, as regulation of data collected by businesses is under the spotlight in a widening conversation about privacy. In the heart of this digital transformation lies a piece of European law having global impact - the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

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Flevy Management Insights: GDPR


As Bill Gates once remarked, "Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other." Truer words are hardly spoken today, as regulation of data collected by businesses is under the spotlight in a widening conversation about privacy. In the heart of this digital transformation lies a piece of European law having global impact - the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Sizing Up the Impact

Few legislative texts have spurred so much discussion and fostered organizational transformation like GDPR. Comprehensively implemented in 2018, the regulation,—seen as a beacon for data subjects' rights,—has put a lens to how organizations globally handle personal data. It is now a critical part of Strategic Planning and Risk Management.

Dissecting GDPR: Understanding the Principles

GDPR revolves around seven key principles. Please note, these principles will not be explicitly stated in the legislations themselves, but are enshrined in Article 5.

  1. Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency: Processing must be legal, fair, and clear for data holders.
  2. Purpose Limitation: Personal data must be collected for specific, explicit, legitimate purposes.
  3. Data Minimization: Organizations must only process the personal data they need for their processing purposes.
  4. Accuracy: Companies should take every reasonable step to update or remove data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
  5. Storage Limitation: Personal data should not be kept longer than necessary.
  6. Integrity and Confidentiality: Companies must keep personal data safe and protected from unauthorized or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction, or damage.
  7. Accountability: The data controller is responsible for demonstrating that they are adhering to the GDPR principles.

Navigating the GDPR Landscape

While GDPR presents evident challenges, it's an opportunity to rebuild trust with customers while gaining a competitive advantage through improved data management. Here are some best practices:

Turning the Risks into Opportunities

GDPR should not be perceived merely as a set of compliance risks. It's an opportunity for organizations to make focused decisions about their data and trust agendas. With trust playing a pivotal role in corporate success, a robust privacy program presents a significant competitive opportunity.

By leveraging GDPR's principles, companies can dissect their operations and review their data privacy processes. Enhancing privacy practices can not only prevent hefty fines but also protect and grow brand reputation. This Operational Excellence can significantly influence customer and stakeholder trust, directly impacting your bottom line.

In essence, GDPR compliance goes beyond being a mere privacy and legal task—it's a clear strategic differentiator in a digital economy where trust is paramount, and data privacy is at its core. Consider GDPR as a cornerstone in your company's roadmap to Operational Excellence, Risk Management, and trusted Performance Management, paving the way for future growth and sustainability.

For effective implementation, take a look at these GDPR best practices:


Explore related management topics: Information Technology Digital Transformation Operational Excellence Strategic Planning Performance Management Risk Management Competitive Advantage Decision Making Organizational Transformation Data Governance Customer-centric Culture Best Practices Data Management Data Protection Data Privacy Information Privacy Mobile Strategy




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