Research carried out by commercial law firm EMW has revealed that the number of data breach complaints made to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has risen by 160% since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The GDPR came into effect on 25 May 2018, and UK businesses were required to be compliant by this time. Under the Regulation, businesses that deal with individuals living in an EU member state must protect the personal information belonging to those individuals, and must have verified proof of such protection.
EMW’s research revealed that, between 25 May 2018 and 3 July 2018, 6,281 data protection complaints were made to the ICO. This represents a rise of 160% when compared to the same period in 2017, when 2,417 complaints were made.
According to the law firm, ‘increasing numbers’ of consumers are making complaints in regard to data breaches. EMW also suggested that a ‘heightened awareness of individuals’ new data rights’ now exists, partly due to ‘greater media publicity’ given to the GDPR, alongside considerable government advertising.
‘A huge increase in complaints is very worrying for many businesses, considering the scale of the fines that can now be imposed,’ said James Geary, Principal of EMW’s Commercial Contracts team.
‘The more data a business has, the harder it is to respond quickly and in the correct, compliant manner.’