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Most marketers concerned Brexit will disrupt free flow of data between the UK and EU

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More than half (51%) of marketers are concerned that there will be a financial impact to their organisations if the free flow of data between the UK and the EU is eroded by Brexit, according to the DMA’s new ‘Data privacy – An industry perspective’ report. Just 25% of marketers stated they were unconcerned.

The UK Government’s decision to delay the Brexit deal vote in Parliament has only increased uncertainty over how future relations between the EU and UK could look, and whether the free flow of data will be disrupted by delays agreeing a deal.

Over the past few days, the possibility of a no-deal Brexit scenario has certainly increased with UK businesses, large and small, likely to be significantly affected by this.

“The challenges of a no-deal Brexit would be very complicated for British businesses, as the disruption to the free flow of data between the UK and EU would be very damaging and costly,” said Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA.

Combemale added: “Although larger organisations may have the resources to implement standard contract clauses to be able to continue data transfers in a no-deal Brexit scenario. SME’s will be seriously disadvantaged by the administrative burden. Furthermore, marketing service providers offering cloud-based service solutions are already opening data centres in the EU to service their European customers as a part of their contingency planning.”

This isn’t marketers’ only issue surrounding Brexit. The report also highlights that 90% of marketers want Britain to retain access to a ‘digital single market’ after Brexit, although this would be unlikely given Theresa May’s rejection of freedom of movement, a key pillar of the single market. This figure is up from 78% in the previous edition of the report back in May 2018.

Marketers becoming increasingly optimistic about GDPR

The proportion of marketers who feel the benefits of the GDPR outweigh the costs which has doubled from 16% prior to 25 May to 32% in late 2018. Additionally, following Brexit, most marketers (78%) believe the UK should adhere to the existing GDPR legislation – with a further 11% even wanting stricter rules.

Marketers increasingly believe their businesses will experience long-term benefits from the GDPR, with the number who state it will negatively impact their organisation falling considerably from 56% in the previous survey, to 41% since the laws came into force.

Clearly, the GDPR hasn’t had a negative impact on many businesses ability to serve their consumers’ needs, as originally expected prior to 25 May.

“The GDPR is the gold standard of data protection laws and so it is encouraging to see marketers becoming increasingly optimistic about the benefits of it. Marketers that intend to build sustainable relationships with consumers based on the principles of the GDPR, honesty and transparency, will reap the rewards,” summarised Combemale.

For the latest range of GDPR-related advice, events, guides and training from the DMA, visit:http://dma.org.uk/gdpr.

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