If you ask a small business owner what is the most valuable thing they handle in the day to day operations of their company, most would say their products, some may say the intellectual rights to their brand, however, I doubt any would say the customer information they hold on file.
Customer data has become an extremely valuable commodity as the result of a number of factors, namely the demand for targeted advertising. However, becoming a reseller of this data and breaching the Data Protection Laws could result in a hefty fine. Yet a recent report, conducted by online watchdog CPD, claims that the majority of small companies are unaware of the risk
In a survey of 200 small business owners, 70 per cent admit that they ‘had no idea’ that the new Data Protection penalties could result in a fine of over fifty thousand pounds.
James Mountford, market analyst for CPD, comments: “Each company big or small is obliged to deal with customer data responsibly. However, it is vital that the government make small businesses aware of the financial implications of not doing so. While we appreciate that corporations must abide by the law, it is important that businesses know the details of that law and are supported.”