A survey of 200+ companies at TechConnect Live conducted by DataSolutions on behalf of the GDPR Awareness Coalition has found that 71% of SME’s in Ireland do not view the need to be GDPR compliant by next May as a top business priority despite an increase in awareness.

When asked “how high of a priority is GDPR compliance to your company?”, 26% of respondents responded with “not a priority” with a further 45% indicating that it was “only one of a number of priorities.” 53% of companies surveyed indicated that they had yet to begin the compliance process with a tiny minority of 2% indicating that they were GDPR complaint already.

“What we’re seeing here is really worrying. With only one year to go until the introduction of GDPR, it’s clear that Irish businesses are still struggling to understand the significance of GDPR and the impact it will have on their day to day business operations.” Dr Dennis Jennings, Chairperson of the GDPR Awareness Coalition said.

However, the survey also found that general awareness of GDPR is increasing with only 16% of respondents responding that they had not heard of GDPR while 67% of respondents said they were either familiar or had expert knowledge.

“The only comforting element to this survey is that while general awareness of GDPR is increasing, there is still a real need to raise awareness of the impact GDPR will have on the SME sector to spark movement towards compliance. Based on what we’re seeing, it looks like businesses are keen to be GDPR compliant but don’t know what full GDPR compliance looks like.” Dr Jennings added.

200 companies responded as part of the GDPR Awareness Coalition’s survey which took place between 9 am and 12.30pm at TechConnect Live in the RDS, Dublin on the 31 May.  Of those surveyed, 62% identified as SME, 21% as large businesses and 17% as corporate.

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