High costs, many unanswered questions – but the feared wave of warnings has so far failed to materialise. This is the first conclusion after a good six months of data protection regulation DSGVO.

The DSGVO came into force at the end of May this year and drove the beads of sweat onto the foreheads of many companies. What exactly does the handling of sensitive customer data have to look like? What needs to be changed in the online shop, the address file or the customer loyalty program? The implementation involved a lot of effort and high costs. Exact sums have been determined by the German Trade Association. Accordingly, the implementation of the Basic Data Protection Ordinance cost medium-sized retailers in Germany around 630 million euros by October. The implementation of the planned information duties is therefore particularly expensive. “Even for simple websites, the data protection declaration now often comprises three to five pages, for websites with many functions often ten to 20 pages or more. Consumers are thus inundated with information that they are unable to grasp and evaluate in everyday life. The production of this information causes a high expenditure for enterprises ?, so HDE managing director Stefan Genth.

Numerous companies need external help in implementing the DSGVO

Around 60 percent of those surveyed stated that they had to call on external assistance for implementation. According to the survey, around 40 percent restrict their digital activities because of the DSGVO. Because: “The basic data protection regulation still entails major legal uncertainties for companies,” continues Genth. The feared wave of warnings has so far failed to materialise, but initial judgments and fines have already been imposed. At the end of November, for example, the State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information for Baden-Württemberg imposed a fine of 20,000 euros on a large social media provider for a data breach. At the end of October, the Hamburg Higher Regional Court ruled that violations of the Basic Data Protection Ordinance could be cautioned by competitors. According to legal experts, further judgements will follow in order to fill the DSGVO with practical life.

Experts demand legal certainty

This state of uncertainty is criticised by experts. Frederick Richter, Chairman of the Data Protection Foundation: “Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular are often completely unable to implement the abstract requirements in their sphere of activity. Companies need guidance tailored to the respective areas of application in order to be able to comply with the DSGVO”. The foundation offers an information platform on which it has bundled relevant knowledge for various target groups such as data protection officers or managing directors. Companies such as TÜV SÜD invite you to seminars that focus on the DSGVO and its implementation.

 

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Link: The German Trade Association has determined that the DSGVO data protection regulation has cost retailers 630 million euros so far.

Image: iStock – City Councillor

//KH