European SMEs will love GDPR – I doubt

The new EU data protection regulation GDPR is marketed as a solution to the privacy of citizens. I guess not? What if the result will be the opposite? GDPR can be a threat to small and medium-sized companies who are scared of the sanctions for breaching the regulation. Sanctions are at the lowest of 4% of net sales and at most millions.

Large companies can easily put their databases and data protection to the level required by GPDR by using experts. But it’s not as easy to do for small and medium-sized businesses that are alone in Europe hundreds of thousands. Most of them will probably leave the whole matter untouched.

In eight EU countries, national legislation has no time to enforce the regulation on the due date 25 May 2018. In Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia, so far, the former situation continues. See when these countries are ready to boost GDPR. Or are they ever?

According to GDPR, for example, sending an ad to a recipient is possible when a verifiable authorization is obtained. In the ears of consumers suffering from spam, this may sound good. But for the advertising company, it may not be so good, understandably.

Isn’t there a contradiction in the regulation? An SME can’t reach a potential customer by email without having a business relation before. Contact information is not enough. There should be verifiable authorization about the confirmation of the contact too. How can European SMEs handle with this?

I suspect that SMEs have not been great spammers ever since. Email marketing has overwhelmingly been the business of the big American companies with huge databases and customer registers. Few small companies in Europe really know how to market online.

It seems to me that the EU data protection regulation has the opposite effect in this respect than what was the purpose of the regulation. It does not improve the situation of SMEs in Europe but rather benefits global players Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc.

When the cam releases, the tail catches. So when sending e-mails for SMEs becomes more difficult, their marketing and trading will change. Facebook and Google will become increasingly important trading venues and marketing tools.

Many European SMEs are now considering whether to send email or switch to Facebook. Advertising in FB costs. But if a company has sanctions from marketing against GDPR in Facebook, then Zuckerberg will pay fines.


manager of Euneos Corp., EU course provider since 2006, senior lecturer of high school (retired), language teacher, writer

Posted in Uncategorized

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