GDPR: Lose money if you comply, lose money if you don't
- If close to one-third European Google users decide to opt out of data sharing when GDPR comes into effect in May, it could translate to a 2% impact on the company's ad revenue, according to a Deutsche Bank note to investors, reported by Business Insider. Deutsche Bank estimates the internet giant earns one-third of its revenue from the continent, and users opting out would reduce ad efficacy by 20%.
- Tech giants like Google and Microsoft have had the resources and manpower to get up to speed, but global companies in general are lagging behind on compliance and may incur high costs that way. Only one-third of executives said their company has a GDPR plan in place, although in Europe around 60% reported having a compliance plan, according to an EY survey of global executives.
- The adoption of forensic data analytics (FDA), which can help companies reach compliance, rose 51% year-over-year in 2017, according to the study. More focus is also being given to advanced FDA technologies. Close to 40% of respondents said they were planning on implementing robotic process automation as well as AI.
Complaints that businesses, at home and abroad, are woefully unprepared for the upcoming set of data privacy regulations are widespread. Many companies have hesitated because the cost of becoming compliant can push into the millions of dollars — although studies have shown that noncompliance is still more costly.
The narrative of GDPR tends to focus on costs associated with becoming compliant or the costs of noncompliance, which, given potential for fines of 4% of global turnover, is unsurprising. But companies could be facing losses on the compliance front too as users begin taking more control over data.
Companies collect a mind-boggling amount of data on the users or affiliates of their platforms. Just ask the woman who asked Tinder for the data it had on her and got 800 pages in response. But under GDPR, users will have more power to decide what information a business collects about them and the right to erasure.
Google makes the majority of its revenue off of its ad business, and such a hit in the European region could break a sweat on CEO Sundar Pichai's brow. The company may have high hopes for its cloud segment eventually bringing in as much revenue as advertising, but it is still years out from that point, if it hits it at all.
But from the international behemoth to SMBs that handle much smaller amounts of personal data, the shift in the relationship is starting to favor people and data over companies.
Follow Alex Hickey on Twitter