Monday, 13 January 2020

GDPR as a Business Opportunity in a Data-Driven Economy

Author OCHA Licence CC BY 3.0 
Source Wikipedia Croatia

Jane Lambert

One of the most intriguing topics to be discussed at a conference organized by the Croatian presidency of the European Council to mark Data Protection Day is "GDPR as a business opportunity in a data-driven economy."  In the months preceding the implementation of the GDPR (Regulation  (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliaments and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC), the emphasis was on the burden of compliance and the sanctions for breaches of the regulation. Very little was said about the cost-savings and other business benefits resulting from meeting the regulatory requirements.

One of the most valuable resources in medical research are patient records.  Many new treatments have been discovered through the analysis of patient data.  Computer programs can detect patterns in such data that can assist in formulating optimum dosage or second or more medical uses for known compounds.  Such findings can have enormous commercial value but the data from which they are derived are highly sensitive and must be processed with due regard to patients' privacy. Businesses and researchers from countries that require compliance with the GDPR enjoy an obvious competitive advantage over those that do not.

Although the EU has led the way with data protection, other countries have followed its lead.   The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, which came into force at the beginning of this month, contains many provisions that are similar to those in the GDPR.  Consultancies and hardware and software suppliers with experience of complying with the regulation have a clear advantage have an obvious advantage over those from other countries in those new markets.

According to the conference programme, there will be three speakers on this topic:
  • Mr Bruno Gencarelli, Head of Unit for International Data Flows and Protection, European Commission who will speak on “Data protection: the increasing convergence at international level”; 
  • Dr Katarina Šiber Makar, President of the Board, IN2 LLC, who will discuss "Data protection in the online world“; and  
  • Dr Dražen Lučić, Head of the Information Security Department, Croatian Chamber of Economy who will address "Information Security: A Cost or a Cost-Saving Measure for Digital Economy".
There will also be a session on the closely related topic of artificial intelligence later in the day.

The conference will take place at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb between 09:00 and 18:00 on 16 Jan 2019 further information can be obtained from the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency. Anyone wishing to discuss this article or the data protection law generally may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact page.

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