On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in the EU and across the United Kingdom. Even though it may seem like the GDPR would not directly impact the construction industry—it will. Unfortunately, 70 per cent of construction firms are unaware of the new data protection rules being introduced by the GDPR, according to a YouGov survey.
One huge barrier to GDPR compliance for the construction industry is a false sense of security—many incorrectly believe that the industry doesn’t rely on technology. Yet, the construction industry is actually one of the most collaboration-intensive and tech-dependent industries, as it requires a near-constant exchange of high volumes of data with external project partners, including architects, engineers and planning consultants. A critical component to the industry’s ability to collaborate is its use of supply chains. Even if one small subcontractor is the victim of a cyber-attack, it could derail a huge project through lost time or stolen building plans. What’s more, 25 per cent of construction firms have admitted that the maximum fine of €20 million for noncompliance with the GDPR would force them out of business.
However, it’s not too late to begin preparing for the significant and necessary changes being introduced by the GDPR. For more information on how you can adapt to the GDPR right now, review the official guidance released by the Information Commissioner’s Office, which can be found by clicking here.
The GDPR and the Construction Industry
- 70% unaware of the GDPR
- 25% have admitted that the maximum fine for non-compliance would force them out of business
- 18% are confident that they would be able to detect a data breach within their organisation
- 40% believe that the GDPR is not an issue for their sector
2018 – Other Hot Topics and Emerging Risk
- Brexit: An estimated 8 per cent of the United Kingdom’s construction workers could be lost post-Brexit if Britain loses access to the single market, as many workers come from the EU, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
- Skills shortages: According to the RICS, 53 per cent of construction firms stated that labour shortages were a key impediment to their growth.
- Counterfeit cranes: Some companies are making inferior construction equipment and branding it with a reputable logo in order to scam firms.
- Building information modelling: The digital collaborative process may expose construction firms to cyber-risks.
- Robotics: Experts predict construction sites could be human-free by 2050. Already 42 per cent of respondents to KPMG’s Global Construction Survey use drones to monitor site status, while 17 per cent use smart sensors to track people on-site, and 30 per cent use radio-frequency identification to track site equipment and materials.
The content of this post is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.