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Two thirds of companies will reassess data policies next year

More than half of companies don't think they will be able to meet new EU data protection regulations coming into force in 2017

European Commission

Research by Intralinks Holdings has revealed that two thirds of companies are changing their business strategies in response to proposed data regulation changes issued by the EU.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is causing great concern for businesses, with 50 per cent of global companies saying they will struggle to meet the rules set out by Europe unless they make significant changes to how they operate.

Intralinks questioned 366 IT decision makers across Europe, the Americas and Australasia about their attitude towards the GDRP, which is expected to come into force in December 2017.

Other findings in Intralinks' survey revealed more than half of decision makers were worried they would be fined if they fail to change their policies, yet 70 per cent think they will have to stump up the cash to make sure they are compliant and in 38 per cent of cases, this means hiring data privacy experts.

"New regulations, such as the GDPR, are seriously worrying global businesses," Alan Rodger, senior analyst at Ovum said. "Different jurisdictions are imposing inconsistent and often incompatible mandates for how personally identifiable information is stored, processed and shared.

"This is already creating confusion and uncertainty, leaving fundamental questions unanswered, such as how to interpret data location requirements. Organisations need technology options that help them react to a rapidly changing regulatory environment."

However, MEPs say they will listen to concerns expressed by business owners and will ensure it is fair for both them and their customers.

"With this regulation, it is essential to balance the protection of civil liberties with creating economic growth and innovation," said Conservative MEP Dr Syed Kamall.

"Addressing the concerns which have been raised during the process is a key priority, so that we create a Regulation which provides opportunity in the EU, creates a legal level playing field, and encourages consumer trust and investment."

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