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Figure this one out: Just shy of 100 percent of U.S.-based privacy professionals believe the importance and complexity of managing privacy in their organizations is increasing.
Similar numbers (97 percent!) acknowledge they will increase their investment in managing privacy. Yet fully 61 percent of these same professionals acknowledge they have done little to prepare for the coming of the world’s biggest privacy regulation, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. What’s more, 99 percent admit to needing additional help in preparing for the GDPR.
Let me see if I’ve got this right, American privacy professionals: There’s a big old train heading our way (the GDPR express), due to come barreling into the station next May, and most of you haven’t yet done much to prepare. Yet nearly all of you admit you could use a hand? Something’s not adding up.
Such was the data laid at the feet of the panel presentation I participated in at the TRUSTe (now TrustArc) PrivacyRisk conference in San Francisco on June 6, and it’s probably indicative of the state of American GDPR readiness that no one (myself included) expressed a whole lot of surprise. Yeah, we know it’s a big deal, we know it’s going to cost a lot of money, and we know we’re a little behind in getting ready. But hey, we’ll get it done. That’s the American way.
GDPR in the USA
Just after the final panel, during which we reviewed this data and talked about all the work that was actually getting done, a European attendee expressed his astonishment at how seriously we Americans were treating the GDPR. The European stereotype that Americans just didn’t take privacy seriously just wasn’t true, he marveled. In fact, it seemed that these crazy Americans were quite passionate about GDPR compliance, that they understood the major commitments it was going to take to changing policies, procedures, and reporting, and that they were determined to get it done (even if they were a little slow to get going).
It’s worth observing that Americans overall don’t tend to be overly fond of an overarching government calling the shots. Thus we have found ourselves with the government we deserve,…
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