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GDPR will hit manufacturing hard, says Close Brothers



Two thirds of manufacturers are not ready for the General Data Protection Regulation  ("GDPR"), according to a recent survey conducted by Close Brothers Asset Finance, only one third of manufacturers were confident they understood what ‘personal data’ means. 11pct answered that they definitely did not understand the term, while the remaining 56pct were unsure of its meaning - in other words, two thirds of manufacturers are unprepared.

“Keeping customer data secure is becoming one of the key issues of our times with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018,” said Ian Barker, Managing Director, Manufacturing division at Close Brothers Asset Finance.

“It’s vital that businesses of all sizes understand the rights customers have when it comes to collecting and utilising their personal information, because currently 38pct of SMEs in our sector don’t understand customers’ new extended rights and another 39pct don’t have the right levels of permissions to contact their customers under the new requirements of the GDPR.”

More than one in 10 (12pct) of manufacturing firms share their customers' personal data with third parties while 17pct are ‘unsure’ if they do or not. When asked if they have a process in place to ensure they are collecting data in the correct manner, 46pct either did not or were unsure. 

“The GDPR’s definition of personal data makes it clear that even online identifiers, for example an IP address, can be personal data,” explained Ian. “The new definitions provide for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people. This example shows just how detailed the new regulations are going to be and it’s incumbent on business owners to understand what this means to them.”

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