GDPR: US start-ups better prepared than European counterparts


With less than 10 working days to go to GDPR D-Day, small businesses are feeling the pressure most, according to new research.


Over 4,000 took part in Mailjet’s recent active GDPR readiness test in the last 8 weeks and the top findings are:

  • 80% continue to collect personal data from customers

  • 67% still aren’t protecting it properly through encryption technologies

  • US startups are generally better prepared than their European counterparts

Data protection:

  • Despite low results, the United States is at the top of the data protection ranking with 53% of US startups stating they encrypt the data they process and 47% have a warning system in case of a breach that could put customer data at risk

  • Europe is falling behind on this, particularly in France with only 21% of start-ups declaring they protect their data properly and 28% having an alert system in place

  • The UK is the best positioned in the European ranking with 33% encrypting data and 44% have an intrusion or breach alert procedure

Data consent:

  • French startups are again ranked last in Europe when it comes to seeking consumer consent (40%) and allowing consumers to simply withdraw it (53%)

  • The UK is better positioned to obtain consent (50%) and to allow consumers to withdraw it easily (62%)

  • However Spain tops the list for consent, with 60% seeking this and 75% incorporating straightforward withdrawal

  • The results are more nuanced for the United States, half of respondents (50%) ensure that consent is obtained, but only 44% make it easy for clients to withdraw consent

Data minimisation (The principle of data minimisation consists in collecting only the data strictly necessary to achieve the objective):

  • In Europe, the gap between France and the UK is notable with 80% of UK startups recognising the importance of data minimisation tactics compared to only 68% of French start-ups

  • Spain again leads the charge with 84% only collecting necessary data and 80% in the US

Third-party providers compliance:

  • Working with a supplier that is not GDPR compliant puts the reputation of companies at risk and exposes them to significant financial implications

  • Yet around the world, the results are worrying with less than half of start-ups checking their suppliers' compliance

  • Germany in particular unfortunately comes bottom of the list, with only 37% ensuring their provider compliance whilst the US is top with 52%

The research was conducted between mid Feb 2018 and April 2018 via an international poll published on Product Hunt, a website that lets users (primarily entrepreneurs and startups) share and discover new products. The survey received 3,878 respondents based primarily in France (18%), UK (13%), US (4%), Spain (52%) and Germany (13%).



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