Privacy Swamp: U.S. Brands Are Confused By Plethora Of State Laws

Maybe it’s because GDPR has been around for five years. But U.K. marketers seem more prepared to deal with privacy regulation than their U.S. colleagues.

And the gap may be getting worse. 

Only 45% of marketers in the U.S. say they are very prepared to cope with the problem, compared with 59% in last year’s survey, according to a study by the law firm of Womble Bond Dickinson.

Moreover, almost 60% of executives with operations in the U.S. view tracking the laws as a challenge, and only 42% have completed comparisons of state privacy laws. Last year, 88% in the U.S. favored a federal data privacy law.

Among U.S. respondents, 55% said they are concerned about geolocation privacy laws, and 50% are concerned with litigation.  

Meanwhile, 59% of U.K. respondents say they are very prepared for GDPR and/or the Data Protection Act (2918), versus 44% of those in the U.S.

In general, 40% of U.K. companies are comfortable with the impact of privacy regulations on their ability to conduct cross-border business, compared to 35% in the U.S. And only 10% in the U.K. say regulations a major impediment, while 17% in the U.S. feel that way. 



At the same time, 40% of U.S. executives seem more concerned about geolocation data, versus 32% in the U.K.

In contrast, 55% of U.K. leaders are troubled by the need to get consent, while 51% in the U.S. worry about this. And 55% in the U.K. see the need to define the specific business purpose, as do 50% in the U.S.

“Overall, these findings tell us that, while cross-border data transfers remain a challenge, many businesses are managing and even seeing value in associated regulations,” says Andrew Parsons, a U.K.-based partner at Womble Bond Dickinson. Parsons.

Parsons adds: “Though much remains in flux, if and when these rules stabilize, they can have a positive long-term impact.”

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