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May 25, 2018. The day that the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) regulation went into effect. Six months ago we did a post where we noted that many companies weren’t in compliance. During this first year there have been few enforcements.
That’s not to say there have been no fines. In the first 12 months, there were 91 cases with fines totally €56 million. The bulk of this though is one fine that originated in France against Google for €50 million. Some had been expecting fines to run into the billions (€/$).
Matt Hayes, vice president at Attunity, said that “the only company that I’ve seen that’s a big news story as far as GDPR enforcement was that fine that they imposed on Google. And I believe Google is challenging it, but I haven’t seen too much enforcement of GDPR outside of that.”
Some expect that EU regulators will gear up their enforcement efforts soon. Initially low or no fines have given companies more time to make corrections to their internet activities and to achieve compliance. It’s likely that the period of leniency may be winding down. But then, if enforcement continues to remain lax, many companies may see no incentive to change and continue to only loosely comply with GDPR.
Helen Dixon, Ireland’s data protection commissioner, commented to the WSJ that “the process is well under way and we’ll start to see the outputs in the coming months. A lot of the investigations we have are significantly advanced.”