The UK automotive industry will struggle to prepare for new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to a lack of consultancy services.
GDPR will be introduced in April 2018 and covers areas such as personal privacy and security, but from a digital marketing perspective it is about new consumer opt in permission rules.
It means all customer data will have to be audited against the new standards, and where it does not conform then it will need to be refreshed by asking for enhanced consumer consent.
There is also a need to create an effective storing system for individual consent forms, and a method through which consumers can ask and have information on them removed.
According to Verso Group, the lead generation and data company, it estimates there are a maximum of around 50 individuals in the UK that will be able to offer “reliable assistance” to companies to unpick GDPR.
Dene Walsh, Verso Group operations and compliance director, said: “Every car manufacturer and dealership is in danger of having to write off customer and sales prospect databases due to lack of support for the forthcoming EU data law.
“There is nobody training the would be trainers, or the would be data protection officers, or the would be consultants. In fact, there is more or less nobody to train anybody, and it is a big problem.”
Walsh estimates that a dealer network with more than 100,000 records will probably need “a good two years” to audit their data to prepare.
Walsh said there are some IT suppliers that will be able to install or make changes to customer relationship management systems and there are some legal practices that will be able to help with guidance on the law.
Walsh said: “After publication of the final contents of the law there will be a two year gap to prepare.
“That sounds like a reasonably long time, but even with qualified assistance it will take some data users longer than that.”