Nine in ten businesses and charities have done nothing to prepare for GDPR, government research finds

Written by Sam Trendall on 24 January 2018 in News
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DCMS study finds majority of organisations in private and third sectors have never even heard of soon-to-be-implemented legislation

Credit: Santiago Silver/Adobe Stock

Government research has found that the majority of charities and businesses have never heard of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, and far fewer still have done any work to prepare for the incoming legislation.

Figures published by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport reveal that just 38% of companies and 44% of charities in the UK are currently aware of GDPR. Of those that have heard of the legislation, 27% of businesses and 26% of charities have made any changes to their operations in response to the new laws. 

This means that, in both cases, about nine in ten organisations are yet to do any preparation for GDPR, just four months ahead of its implementation data of 25 May.

The study, for which DCMS commissioned research firm Ipsos MORI and the Institute for Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth, showed that awareness levels increase markedly in line with the size of an organisation.


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Among ‘micro’ organisations with between two and nine staff, 31% of businesses and 37% of charities were aware of GDPR. These percentages rose to 49% and 47%, respectively, for entities with 10-49 employees. Some 66% of companies with between 50 and 249 workers had heard of GDPR, while the figure for charities of this size was 53%. In organisations with 250-plus people, awareness was much more common, with 80% of firms and 75% of charities having heard of GDPR.

Within the minority of organisations who have made any operational changes ahead of GDPR, 36% of respondents in both the charity and business space have changed or added to their cybersecurity policies or practices. A total of 21% of companies and 10% of charities who have done some preparatory work have delivered extra communications or training to employees.

This research – which will feed into the DCMS’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey report, due to be published in April – was conducted between October and December of last year. A total of 1,519 business and 569 charities took part.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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