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  • Common Mistakes Made by Companies

    The first, and perhaps most basic, mistake is a lack of awareness or understanding of the GDPR. Despite the regulation having been in effect for several years, some companies still do not fully understand it. They are unsure what these regulations mean for their business. The GDPR is complicated and requires companies to adhere to a number of specific rules regarding personal data. Without a proper understanding of these rules, companies are at risk of non-compliance and potential penalties.

    Improper Data Storage and Security

    Another common mistake is the improper storage and security of personal data. These data must be stored securely to prevent their loss or theft. In practice, companies need to implement appropriate security measures, such as encryption. They also need to regularly update and test their security systems.

    Lack of Effective Data Retention Policy

    A lack of an effective data retention policy is another mistake that companies frequently make. The GDPR mandates companies to retain personal data only for the duration necessary for the purposes of its collection. They should not keep the data longer than required. Without a clearly defined data retention policy, companies might keep data either too long or not long enough. Such practices can result in non-compliance.

    Failure to Update Data Protection Policies

    Data protection law is a dynamic area that is constantly evolving and changing. If companies do not regularly update their policies and procedures, they may easily end up in a situation not compliant with the latest requirements. This means that companies must actively monitor changes in the law and adjust their practices accordingly.

    Consequences of Mistakes

    Financial Penalties

    One of the most severe consequences of non-compliance with the GDPR is financial penalties. If organizations violate GDPR regulations, they can incur fines. These can reach up to 20 million euros or up to 4% of their annual global turnover, depending on which value is higher. For example, in 2019, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office imposed a fine of 204 million euros on British Airways for GDPR violations.

    Loss of Customer Trust

    The loss of customer trust is another important consequence of improper data management. When customers discover that their data wasn’t adequately protected, they might decide against using the company’s services in the future. Such a loss of trust can lead to loss of customers and decrease in sales.

    Data Retention Mistakes in Companies

    Potential Business Losses

    At the end, non-compliance with GDPR and improper data management can lead to huge business losses. Not only do these encompass potential fines and the loss of customers, but they also cover costs tied to rectifying mistakes. This includes implementing new security systems and training staff.

    How to Avoid Common Mistakes

    Detailed Understanding and Compliance with GDPR Rules

    The first step to avoiding these mistakes is understanding and complying with the GDPR rules. Companies should make sure that all individuals handling personal data are familiar with GDPR regulations. They should also ensure these individuals know how to apply these rules. Data protection training should be conducted regularly to ensure that staff are up to date with the latest regulations.

    Implementation and Compliance with an Effective Data Retention Policy

    Companies should also create an effective data retention policy. This policy should detail how long they should store various types of data. This policy should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure its compliance with current regulations.

    Regular Reviews and Updates of Data Policies and Procedures

    Another important step is regular reviews and updates of data-related policies and procedures. This includes not only data retention policy but also data security policy and consent processing procedures. Regular reviews will help ensure that the company’s policies and procedures are up to date with the latest legal requirements.

    Training Staff in GDPR Rules and Data Retention

    The last but not the least step is ensuring that all staff are adequately trained in GDPR rules and data retention. This will not only help prevent mistakes but also help employees understand why these rules are so important and what could be the consequences of not adhering to them.


    Compliance with GDPR and effective data retention are key to maintaining legal compliance and protecting customer trust. By avoiding the most commonly made mistakes, companies can better manage their data, minimize risk, and maximize the benefits of data ownership. It’s a process of continuous learning and adaptation, but the effort is worth it considering the potential consequences.