The EU has taken the first step in protecting the data and privacy of its residents. Through the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), people are now able to have the protection they are looking for online. This means changes for businesses everywhere that are planning to reach consumers in the EU.

Companies need to look at the way that they are handling the personal data of their customers and have an action plan in place to ensure their privacy is protected. Without a strong understanding of what the GDPR means and how it affects your business, you could find yourself in a situation with the EU that you didn’t count on.

Fifteen members of Forbes Technology Council discuss some of the more unexpected consequences of the new GDPR regulation. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Restriction Of Privacy And Innovation

GDPR is the latest version of Y2K compliance — long on speculation and fear, short on reality. In my opinion, regional enforcement of global technology is an impossibility and will restrict — not enhance — privacy, freedom and innovation. The result will be regions of non-compliance (GDPR havens), enormous expense and uncertainty. – Wayne LonsteinVFT Solutions

2. Roadblocks For Blockchain Data Storage

GDPR could impact the decisions and data sets being stored and collected in emerging private and public blockchains. This may create roadblocks for companies looking to embrace blockchain to store any data that may fall under GDPR. – Aaron VickCicayda

3. Opt-In Fatigue

One of the most unexpected consequences of GDPR is the wave of new regulations in jurisdictions outside of Europe, including California, New York and perhaps soon in Asia. Another unintended impact is “check the box” fatigue where opt-in consent language is presented so frequently on websites and apps that consumers don’t read the consents and just check the box, waiving their privacy rights. – Silvio Tavares, CardLinx Association

4. Poor Customer Service

One GDPR byproduct distortion or unintended consequence is excessive regulation leading to poor customer service. The pendulum has swung too far and will be moderated by citizen feedback. – Jeff BellLegalShield

5. Small Businesses Getting Hurt

The companies that are best prepared for GDPR are the big ones: Facebook, Google, Amazon — those that have the money to pour into their tech and legal teams for ultimate compliance. The small and medium-sized businesses, however, may be less prepared, making them more vulnerable to potential fines and penalties. – Thomas GriffinOptinMonster

6. The Slow Death Of Free Services

If a service is free, then your data is the product. We all love using Facebook, YouTube and the many other social media platforms. However, we fail to realize how these businesses operate. If regulations strangle business, then the alternative is a paid model. Just look at YouTube and how it’s strugglingwith its paid subscriptions. – Daniel Hindi, BuildFire

7. Talk About Similar Regulation In The U.S.

The most unintended consequence has been the multitudes of discussions about a similar impending regulation in the U.S. In fact, reading between the lines of Facebook’s testimony to Congress, it is clear to me that tech leaders realize more care ought to be given to sensitive data, and users should have more rights. They are preparing for coming regulation stateside. – Michael RoytmanKenna Security

Read more on Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/08/15/15-unexpected-consequences-of-gdpr/#2ce5537f94ad 

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