Financial, legal and technology are just some of the many sectors paying attention to GDPR - coming into effect in May 2018. However, working in communications, people are generally staying quiet and wondering what the immediate effect will be on them? We're meekly observing, questioning whether, unless you're a big player, it's likely to impact you?

In short, it will. W8 have found, as reported in this Campaign piece, that only 25% of existing customer data meets requirements.

To explain why, take a look at A&O's nifty GDPR overview; "Consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. Requests for consent should be separate from other terms, and be in clear and plain language...The data controller is required to be able to demonstrate that consent was given. "

The amount of tick-boxes I've personally seen as a consumer that require an opt-out alone would indicate that most data collected does not meet these standards. As a consumer I whole-heartedly agree with GDPR. But working in comms I groan internally.

Go look to your own marketing lists, and those of your clients whilst you're at it. Can you really vouch for every single name on there and provide evidence that they actively opted to be on your mailing list? Probably not.

The financial penalties of GDPR are huge. HUGE! (To put this in context fines from the ICO against British companies last year would have been £69m rather than £880,500 under GDPR). That's without considering the PR disaster that breaching GDPR would be.

GDPR is coming. Are you ready? Are your clients?

Tick tock...