- David Richards, chief executive of data firm WANdisco, has warned of ‘chaos’
- Under new EU legislation, firms face fines if they are caught storing data of EU customers in non-EU countries
- Firms are now scrambling to move EU customer data out of the UK to Europe
Chaos looms: David Richards of Silicon Valley firm WANdisco
Consumer firms from banks to retailers are drifting towards a Brexit ‘iceberg’ over customer data, one of Britain’s most high-profile tech entrepreneurs warned last night.
Many major UK companies currently store vast amounts of information on customers from the European Union in data centres in the UK.
But under EU legislation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into effect last month, firms face fines of up to €20 million (£17.6 million) or 4 per cent of global turnover – whichever is higher – if they are caught storing the data of EU customers in non-EU countries, which will include post-Brexit Britain.
David Richards, chief executive of data firm WANdisco, warned of ‘chaos’ as firms scramble to move EU customer data out of the UK to warehouses in Europe or to remote ‘cloud’ storage that conforms with GDPR.
Richards, a Sheffield-born entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley, said major companies were ‘starting to wake up’ to the risk posed by failing to move data in time. His £500 million firm manages data for clients including Barclays and Disney.
‘Everybody was planning for it but now I think there’s an “Oh My God” moment. We’ve got this perfect intersection of GDPR and Brexit colliding and that will force the issue sooner rather than later,’ he said.