Over a third of SMEs think GDPR doesn’t apply to them

Posted on March 6, 2020


The May 2018 introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) may now seem a distant memory, but a survey from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) indicates that small businesses’ knowledge and application of the legislation is still not at the levels it should be.

Commenting on the findings of the ‘SMBs and GDPR’ report released last week, the company’s Head of Insight, Tim Bond, said:

“Of greatest concern is that 38% of them [SMEs] appear to believe that the GDPR does not apply to customer data they may acquire and process.”

Out of the 293 senior or mid-level managers quizzed in the survey, which took place in November 2019, more than two out of three (68%) rated their GDPR awareness as ‘moderate’ or ‘good’. They had even greater faith in their organisation as a whole, with 74% saying their firm had a ‘high’ level of GDPR knowledge collectively, suggesting some misplaced confidence among SMEs on the subject.

Most of those surveyed – though still only 73% – were able to identify that the GDPR applies to data on existing B2B customers, but fewer believed it extended to existing B2C clients (68%), their own employees (67%), potential customers (63%) and suppliers (59%).

Additionally, 25% of small firms admitted that their GDPR compliance was still in the “early stages” at the time of the survey. Only 10% believed they were in full compliance.

With penalties for GDPR breaches including a 4% of turnover fine, small businesses cannot afford to ignore the rule, but there are advantages to compliance that go beyond simply staying out of trouble. In one of the more encouraging findings of the survey, 57% of respondents said they thought the GDPR had affected their business positively.

If you need a GDPR-compliant website, or you’re worried that your current one isn’t, we can help you here at Engage Web.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray
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