Harness the opportunities of the EU’s new Data Protection Regulation

18 May 2017

Harness the opportunities of the EU's new Data Protection Regulation


Article written for Deutscher Drucker trade magazine (published 4th May 2017).

Adopted in April 2016, the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is poised to impact all data-handling European printing companies. The Regulation goes beyond simple compliance, however, offering a valuable opportunity for printers to build their reputation as data privacy and security experts.

Any individual or company using, storing and/or processing personal data on or offline, including the data of its own staff, are expected to be in full compliance with the GDPR by 25th May 2018. As it is a Regulation, it will be directly applicable to all individuals and companies handling personal data (both in B2C and B2B relations). Printing companies will thus need to consider how to comply with the new legislation. The GDPR will primarily affect companies which deal regularly with personal data, such as direct mailers, although others do also fall under the scope of the Regulation.

Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of Intergraf (the European Federation for Print & Digital Communication), emphasised that “European printers need to start taking steps now to ensure they will be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018”.

Intergraf has prepared a full guide (available free of charge for companies belonging to one of Intergraf’s members), inclusive of specific case examples and a checklist for printers to help them get ready for the changing legislation:

  •    Check what personal data you process, where it is stored and how it flows within your company;
  •    Review privacy-related documents, contracts with sub-contractors/partners and conditions of sales;
  •    Set-up new technical and administrative processes to prevent and remediate data breaches;
  •    Consider adopting codes of conducts/certification to improve the reputation of your company;
  •    Consider appointing a Data Protection Officer (senior staff member in the company reporting to the Board);
  •    Be able to document data protection policies and procedures.

Alongside implementing the necessary compliance measures, printing companies can use this new legislation as an opportunity safeguard their reputation. Customers justifiably expect the highest level of security when it comes to the protection of their personal data, so why not market any efforts to increase data privacy and security? Full, open and marketable GDPR compliance will give printers a valuable competitive advantage.

In a rapidly digitalising European economy, data privacy and security is quickly becoming a vastly more important and marketable tool. The time is ripe for European printing companies to harness this significant opportunity, using the EU’s GDPR as the catalyst for change.


ContactLaetitia Reynaud