GDPR rule-breakers could face fines of 20 million Euros

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“The fines for non-compliance are massive and don’t forget that your competitors can report you because non-compliance equates to unfair competition.”

That was the warning from David Chalmers, senior marketing director of Cvent Europe and the man who has taken ownership of the challenge offered to his company by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in less than four months’ time.

He said some fines can be as high as Euros 20 million, or four per cent of the offenders’ turnover, whichever is the higher.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Event Management Association (EMA) this week, Chalmers explained that the new regulation stops being a directive and becomes an EU regulation because privacy is a human right. And, he said, the new regulation will:

Strengthen individual rights

Increase business accountability

Embed a privacy-centric focus

He added: “This is a good thing for us as individuals but it is also good for the events industry because events are one of the best ways to gather data and get people to tell you about themselves. This is because they want the best personalised experience and are therefore happy to trade data for that.”

But Chalmers made it clear that some companies are sleep-walking into a dangerous new world. When he asked for corporate attendees in the room how many have embarked upon compliance, fewer than 50 per cent raised their hands. “That’s not a lot,” said Chalmers. “And there are some very large companies in the room”.

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