Data protection, a competitive advantage?

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The RGPD or in other words the General Data Protection Regulation, this is indeed a subject that makes many of us grind our teeth. So to avoid damaging your teeth and put a smile back on your face, we suggest you see data protection from another angle ⏩ that of competitive advantage!

With the rise of digital technology, multiple economic opportunities have emerged and with them new challenges. Among the most visible is the famous protection of personal data. The European Union has been imposing, for several years now, a precise framework through the RGPD. We won't lie to you, this text considerably increases the obligations of all of us, economic actors, and has been perceived by many as a brake on the growth and development of services based on data exploitation. But is this simplistic view really justified?

The RGPD puts an additional financial risk on organizations, that's a fact. We all have in mind examples of companies sanctioned by the supervisory authorities, sanctions that can reach up to 2 or 4% of the annual turnover, with a ceiling up to 10 or 20 million euros 😅.

In France, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) makes extensive use of its repressive powers. Its 2022 report shows 21 sanctions for a total of more than 101 million euros. And if we look, more broadly, at the side of the European authorities, the total of sanctions pronounced for the same year amounts to 2.5 billion euros 😱.

The CNIL is not the only authority competent to sanction data protection violations. Do you know about the right to competition? A non-conforming use of personal data can lead to breaches of this fundamental right. Yes, it can, for example, last year the French courts were seized of a case in this sense (decision of the Paris judicial court of April 15, 2022, No. 19/12628). Several breaches of the GDPR were deemed to be acts of unfair competition to the detriment of the plaintiff company.

One might think that these are just isolated cases. However, the 2023-2024 roadmap[1] of the French Competition Authority seems to suggest the opposite. The competitive challenges of the digital economy are identified as "a priority justifying a long-term commitment and the deployment of significant resources". A major place is then given to the use of data.

"The role of data is now so important in most sectors of the economy that the Authority will pay particular attention to it, both in its antitrust and consultative capacities, for example with regard to the draft European regulation on health data.

Put it this way, you may not yet see how this GDPR becomes a competitive advantage for your organization. We're getting there 😁

Let's look at consumers. Several studies show that consumers are more and more sensitive to the protection of their privacy and are choosing to use products and services that offer a better guarantee of protection in this area. PWC's "Global Consumer Insights Survey"[2] reports that 80% of French consumers consider the protection of their data by a brand as a key factor in their trust. Similarly, an INSEE[3] study from 2022 shows that 72% of Internet users are concerned about the recording of their online activities for advertising targeting and 82% of users limit the availability of their personal data online.

So, if you add to the consumer confidence that is essential to any growth, the inclusion of personal data in the scope of the Competition Authority, you have a widespread awareness of what a competitive asset data protection can be for your organization.

In summary, if you want to turn the negative economic impact of the RGPD into a competitive advantage and trust factor for your organization, investing in RGPD compliance becomes essential.

Makes you think, doesn't it? 🎶 Should I stay or should I go* 🎶 ?


*The Clash

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