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Is GDPR a Dirty Tactic by the EU?

Posted by: Matthew Wood on

Is GDPR a Dirty Post-Brexit Tactic by the EU?

Is GDPR a Post-Brexit Dirty Tactic by the EU?

You may have seen recently that there has been a lot of press coverage regarding large companies and how they gather, store, use and protect your private information.

Indeed Facebook seems to be making every attempt possible to circumvent a lot of the impending legislation and for good reason, their business is built on the back of selling your private data to companies who use it for commercial gain.

You may also by now be aware of the impending European Legislation regarding GDPR and it’s much broader privacy powers.

Our team has been questioning if whether the move to hurry this legislation through by the EU before Brexit occurs is a tactical measure as it has the potential to make it more difficult for UK businesses to market and do business with members of the European Union post-Brexit.

Now regardless of what side of the fence you currently sit on with regards to Brexit, there are pro’s and con’s to both sides of the debate and with so much commercial focus on GDPR recently, it is worth considering the potential long-lasting impact this will duly have on the UK business community post-Brexit.

It is expected that post-Brexit, most of the laws introduced by Brussels will be retained by the UK.

Having said that, even if a move to repeal the GDPR legislation was introduced by the UK Government this still wouldn’t make one jot of a difference to UK companies wishing to market and do business in the EU because any company wishing to do business in the EU will still be subject to the GDPR legislation.

Of course, GDPR is being promoted as a move to protect your data, and what companies can do with it, however, we still get spam email from companies that we have not done business with before and we expect that we still will still receive unsolicited emails after Brexit has happened.

We remain to keep a balanced outlook with regards to the many changes ahead.

The UK Government naturally will do all that it can to safeguard the British economy and it is encouraging that they continue to commit to the UK’s R&D Tax Incentive initiative, however, is GDPR more about punishing the UK business community and our economy after Brexit?

Let’s face it, you’d have to be pretty brave or stupid to market to the EU if you were in breach of any of its points.

Whatever your outlook, what Bremains in the UK is a fantastic opportunity for the UK business community.

Would it not be worthwhile, given the scope of GDPR to make foreign countries want to contact us due to our ongoing reputation for delivering excellence rather than the other way around?

The UK has a very long and proud history of creating new and improved products, processes, methods, systems and world-changing advances.

The UK Government currently provides all UK businesses seeking innovation a very lucrative business incentive to reward their attempts for attempting to seek innovation.

Indeed, it matters not if your efforts are successful, just that your business is trying and actively working on overcoming the obstacles and uncertainties that exist in achieving the advance.

Regardless of the true impact of GDPR, if it will make marketing to the European market more difficult, then let us, the UK business community rally together to make Britain a much stronger, leaner business machine.

If we continue to develop world-beating, world-changing products and services not only can we cash in on the fantastic opportunity afforded by the UK Government, but we can also make sure that members of Europe literally salivate at the prospect of securing our advanced services, products and technical know-how.

Worryingly, so many businesses out there do not feel that R&D Tax Credits apply to their business but you would be surprised at just what can qualify for a substantial recovery.

Money or tax relief recovered under the R&D Tax Credit incentive can be re-invested in your business to seek further progression, which also has the ability to then qualify for an R&D tax credit claim, so a virtuous cycle is born.

Companies who go on to create fantastic advances will no-doubt want to market their advance commercially and many of the existing laws regarding marketing seem to contradict at least some part of another piece of legislation somewhere along the line.

Let’s look at data published by various departments within the Government under Open Government Licence. The licence states that you are free to use the data, but then if a respondent hasn’t opted in under GDPR you can see a clear conflict.

Equally, the information commissioners office states that providing there exists a ‘legitimate business interest’ then ‘company a’ can approach ‘company b,’ but again this will be called into question with the arrival of GDPR.

Whatever your outlook on the incoming legislation the right to privacy is a good thing. We naturally can’t foresee the exact extent of the legislation and how rigorously it will be enforced at this point but one thing the UK must protect is the ability of the UK’s business community to do business.

If the full scope of GDPR turns out to be too draconian, then this could well contribute to hurting the UK economy and may well lead us towards another recession as severe as the one that began in 2008 that we only recently left, comparatively speaking.

Each and every UK business has an incredible opportunity in front of them. We must pull together and reinforce our reputation as the worlds' go-to place to do business.

Author: Matthew Wood