GDPR and the Travel Sector: Benign Easter Bunny, Nightmare on Compliance Street, or the Ultimate Game of Chance?

In the first installment of a three-part article for GDPR: REPORT, Charlotte Lamp Davies, Vice President of Travel & Hospitality at DataArt UK, classifies the travel companies’ “personalities” according to their level of preparedness for the upcoming regulations, and contemplates what strategy the government will pursue to discipline the non-compliers.

"GDPR has been excellent for revealing the ‘personalities' of companies across the travel trade."

"First you have the happy Easter bunnies – those that have prepared well in advance, splashed out on the technological framework necessary and will be sitting pretty next May on the 25th, the implementation deadline… Then there are the Eleventh Hour panickers. These companies did start preparing, but things have lagged. They will most likely arrive at the deadline somewhat prepared and have a last minute push. And then there are the chancers and the ostriches (whichever way you see them)- these companies read the terms of the legislation, and took a gamble, deciding that it would probably all be alright on the night. Some didn’t want to do the work; others couldn’t afford the change in time. They, effectively, took a decision to go at their own pace, and see how things panned out."

"So, what will a government, that is itself unprepared and under resourced to examine everyone, do in travel sector? Will it sweep through, fining companies left, right and centre? It has to do something, but what?"

"My prediction is that the UK Government will pick a large, well-resourced travel sector company, with lots of money and they will come down on them like a tonne of bricks. They will be made an example of. The end game being to frighten lots of smaller companies, who will then become compliant."

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