It’s easy to think of GDPR as another time-consuming challenge to overcome. It’s one of the toughest data protection laws in the world, with some of the highest fines for infringements. But since it came into effect in 2018, many organizations have seen significant benefits. 

In episode 20 of our In:Confidence podcast, we spoke to Cameron Craig, Head of Privacy Legal at HSBC, about the impact of GDPR on business and how it’s changed compliance programs for the better.

In this article, we’ll look at Cameron’s top three benefits of GDPR. But be sure to listen to the full podcast episode to hear his insights on overcoming implementation challenges and the responsibilities of the different stakeholders involved.

How GDPR is improving compliance programs and more

GDPR was introduced to provide greater data protection for EU citizens, but it’s also benefited compliance teams, business users, and senior leadership—and increased customer trust.

Here are three ways GDPR is benefiting businesses:

  1. Greater accountability and engagement

Before May 2018, legal teams often handled data privacy, and other departments generally had little understanding of compliance requirements or restrictions. The introduction of GDPR forced organizations to take accountability for data privacy and create robust documentation processes. 

It created a new culture that’s driving engagement beyond compliance teams and encouraging people to understand and consider privacy in their daily working lives. 

“It’s a completely different environment to the one that we had in 2018,” Cameron said. “There are so many more people now engaged in data privacy and risk management. There’s so much more awareness of it now… It’s a huge change.”

  1. Increased operational insight

Many organizations adopted security platforms to manage their data while remaining compliant, creating centers of excellence. 

With all their data accessible in a centralized location, organizations can be more flexible and granular with data handling, and produce faster and more accurate insights into their operations. 

“A large financial services organization might want to get an oversight of the risk, and do all the anti-money laundering analysis or financial crime analysis,” says Cameron. “It’s very helpful to get the data into one place so you can get the big picture view.”

  1. Data monetization—without compromising customer trust

When organizations are compliant, they can make the most of data while protecting customers—and they’re in a position to take advantage of developing technologies like AI, too.

For example, GDPR enforces data de-identification, which in turn enables data monetization. “It’s very helpful to be able to share data with other parts of the organization for commercial purposes,” says Cameron. “And there are always demands to share with third-party regulators. So this isn’t just a burden; this can actually help you monetize the data and also, very importantly, build and foster customer trust.” 

Unlock the value of your data

Catch up on the full podcast episode to hear Cameron’s other insights into how GDPR can benefit your organization, how to overcome implementation challenges, and the crucial role of data protection officers in ensuring compliance.