Many firms clueless on how to prepare for GDPR

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Many companies are unprepared for General Data Protection Regulation, a set of rules designed to protect the personal data of European Union residents that is due to go into effect in May 2018, according to a report by online IT community Spiceworks.

The organization conducted a survey of 779 IT professionals in the U.S., U.K. and other countries in the E.U. in June 2017. It showed that many companies are unsure what steps they need to take to comply with GDPR and how these new data privacy rules will impact their businesses, noted a post by Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks.

In general, U.S.-based IT professionals in are not as informed as their European counterparts when it comes to GDPR. While 43 percent of IT professionals in the U.K. and 36 percent in the rest of the E.U. said they’re informed about GDPR and how it affects their business, only 9 percent of IT pros in the U.S. said they have an understanding of what the regulation entails.

The knowledge gap in the U.S. could be due to the fact that 43 percent of U.S.-based IT professionals don’t think GDPR will affect their organization, Tsai said. By comparison, only 3 percent of IT professionals in the U.K. and 9 percent in the E.U. think their company will be exempt from GDPR.

Considering GDPR potentially affects any company in the world that collects data on E.U. residents, some U.S.-based companies might have to scramble next year to comply with the regulation if they incorrectly assume GDPR doesn’t apply to their businesses, Tsai said.

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