GDPR: One year on - The Good, The Bad and the Darn Right Ugly

3rd Dec 2019
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GDPR celebrated its first birthday on the 25th May 2019 #belatedbirthdaywishes. Well let me tell you, it’s been one heck of a ride. Let’s look at the good, the bad and the darn right ugly.


  • Well, on the whole there is waaaay more awareness of data breaches. I wonder if this had anything to do with it being shoved down our throats so much?... Nah it was all us and our amazing self-awareness.
  • According to a survey by the ICO, 34% of people have more trust and confidence in companies storing their personal information, which is a 13% increase from before the introduction of the GDPR. This is exactly what the GDPR aimed to achieve, and to have such a marked success in its first year is a big deal.
  • Numerous countries in Africa and SouthEast Asia are seeing data protection laws on the rise, particularly those that want to do business with Europe. That’s right, GDPR is the coolest kid in school setting all the trends and trailblazing through the data protection world.
  • New laws coming into effect in Brazil and California have also been influenced by GDPR. Next step, world domination!


  • Since its introduction, over 89,000 breach notifications were reported to the European Data Protection Board as of 22nd May 2019. There have been 40,000 data protection complaints and over 14,000 personal data breaches reported by the ICO.
  • As of 22nd May 2019, there have been over 280,000 cases that required investigating across the 27 EEA states.

However, I feel the need to point out that bad is merely an interpretation (much like I used to tell my Mum about my school report card). While these figures may seem like people are going wild and flinging data all over the place, these statistics simply reflect an adjustment period while the new legislation settles in and people get used to it. And the fact that so many are reported means that GDPR is working and people are engaging with it.


The only ugly thing about GDPR are the filthy scurrilous rumours that still dog it a year on! Things like:

  • The threat of huge, massive, gigantic fines.
  • Needing to have consent to process all personal data.
  • All breaches, no matter how small, must be reported.

You can read more on these here where I kindly debunk them for you. You’re welcome!

Well, there you have it. It’s been quite a whirlwind, hasn’t it? The little legislation that could is still trucking on and doing its best, as are we. Overall it’s been a success and I can’t wait to check in next year to see where it’s at and all the places it’s been. 


Aoibheann Byrne


Written by Aoibheann Byrne

BrightPay Payroll Software