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The Coming Consumer Data Wars

New European data protection regulations will change more than most companies expect

This article first appeared in MIT Sloan Management Review.

Keeping consumers’ data safe is about to become even more costly. But it is also going to become more critical. And companies caught unprepared by GDPR may lose the privilege of keeping consumers’ data – period.
Thierry Mennesson, Partner, Oliver Wyman

When companies come looking for permission to use their European customers’ data after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25, 2018, the answer may well be no. In a recent survey of 1,500 British consumers, our company discovered that as many as half said they were already leaning toward reclaiming their information.

That gives companies less than 12 months to figure out what it will take to get customers to say yes – as well as to figure out procedures and safeguards to assist consumers with accessing, editing, exporting, and deleting any or all of their personal data. And neither job will be easy.

The GDPR complicates business models for both European and US companies. While President Donald Trump removed requirements in April for internet service providers to obtain permission from customers before sharing personal data, the GDPR will still force US companies to deal with the new data rules if they want to do business in the EU – a juggling act that could prove expensive.



Partner Thierry Mennesson on how new European data protection regulations will change more than most companies expect.

About Authors

Thierry Mennesson is a Paris-based partner in the Digital and Financial Services practices.


The Coming Consumer Data Wars


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