Companies that view the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as nothing more than a new regulatory headache are missing a business opportunity.

That was the headline finding from a survey taken by over 3,200 companies in 25 countries that do business with Cisco, the global technology and digital services provider.

“Ninety-seven percent of our companies said that they were getting at least one additional benefit beyond compliance when they’re engaging in data protection,” Michelle Dennedy, Cisco’s vp/president and chief privacy officer, told delegates at KNect365’s Marketing, Analytics and Data Science (MADS) Conference.

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Michelle Dennedy, vp/president and chief privacy officer, Cisco

The GDPR rules, adopted by the European Union Parliament in 2016, became enforceable on May 25, 2018. The sweeping set of regulations are intended to:

  • harmonize data privacy laws across the EU;
  • protect and empower the data privacy of all EU citizens;
  • reshape the way businesses and other organizations across the EU approach data privacy;
  • establish consent and transparency rules for handling personal data in the EU.