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Trading across borders: a revelation and a compliance challenge

Smaller businesses are not always front of mind when you think about companies proactively broadening their global footprint.  The internet has brought rich opportunities for businesses of all sizes to trade across jurisdictional borders with relative ease.

Today’s online customers also have a relatively seamless experience.  Language barriers are dismantled at the click of a mouse – one minute you can be reviewing website content in English, and the next in French, German or Italian.

In minutes we can transact, buy and share sensitive personally identifiable and financial information in order to make our purchase. Yet there is a great deal of trust and an assumption that the businesses we buy from have completed the necessary due-diligence, and are appropriately safeguarding any personal information we share.

But our interconnected world presents businesses with increasing obstacles as well as opportunities. A breach of customer information overseas adds a layer of complexity for businesses managing a data breach scenario. With new EU Data Protection Legislation looming, people will have an increasing expectation to be informed if their information is breached, and without undue delay.

Experian’s research found that 51% of SMEs hold customer data of customers living overseas, but 29% of SMEs are unfamiliar with EU data protection legislation.

Most SMEs say they’re aware of EU Data Protection legislation and the legal framework in which they are operating in. The change in legislation means those trading overseas will have to consider broader jurisdictional laws around the notification of customers to fend off any risk of penalties. The solution to the problem will need to take different languages, notification laws and views on privacy into account.

Now is the time for international traders to consider these new responsibilities and prepare for the challenges ahead.

Did you find this post of interest?  How are you planning for the future?



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