Thales Blog

The bright side of data privacy compliance: 5 value-driven opportunities for retailers

August 31, 2023

Willem Tibosch Willem Tibosch | Director, Risk and Compliance, Cloud Services More About This Author >

Failing to keep up with data privacy legislations, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) can harm a brand’s bottom-line and public reputation. Not to mention the heavy financial penalties involved. Last year only, European data regulators issued a record €2.92 billion in fines, up 168% in 2021.

But let’s pause there and look at the brighter side of compliance: Your opportunities.
Because yes, there are risks involved with any compliance breach, but there are also real, value-driven benefits arising from becoming – and remaining – compliant with data privacy legislations. Let’s unpack this.

Keeping up with compliance: The struggles & solution for retailers

The retail landscape itself is also becoming more regulated. Globally operating eCommerce companies must comply with multiple data legislations, which is making it more difficult for retailers to stay on top of data privacy compliance.

The data protection standards you follow today may not be fully up to scratch tomorrow. In addition, the core wiring within data protection laws is expanding and becoming more complex as we speak. So how can retailers ensure always-on compliance?

Consumer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is a central player in this narrative. By adopting a robust identity platform retailers can actively manage compliance and seamlessly integrate a privacy-by-design mindset into every user journey.

5 benefits of ensuring always-on compliance

1. Earn customer trust

Data privacy regulations, such as the GDPR, have helped raise data protection awareness, not just for companies, but for individuals too. Customers are increasingly concerned with how their data is handled – and protected. In addition, being compliant reflects an ethical responsibility in business conducts. Moreover, compliance with these regulations reflects an ethical responsibility in business practices. Demonstrating your commitment to respecting customers' privacy, protecting, and securing their sensitive data through compliance can sow the seeds of trust and foster long-lasting customer relationships.

2. Gain a competitive edge

As we progress towards a privacy-first world, maintaining consumer privacy is becoming a key competitive advantage. In fact, the recent Thales Consumer Digital Trust Index revealed that 21% of consumers will stop using a company that has suffered a data breach. Today’s customers are likely to choose organizations that prioritize data privacy principles over those who do not. By being compliant, you can attract – and retain - privacy-conscious customers. As such, compliance becomes an active, competitive differentiator in the retail landscape.

3. Mitigated cybersecurity risks

By complying with data regulations, you already adhere to a set of best practices which automatically boost your cybersecurity environment. For instance, GDPR has made it mandatory for companies to adopt a Security and Privacy by Design approach. Being compliant can help you protect your business and your customers against harmful cyber-attacks.

4. Seamless global data transfer

The idea that the GDPR is only applicable to companies operating in Europe is a miscomprehension. GDPR is essentially a global measure. While born in Europe, this data regulation applies to organizations across the globe handling the personal data of any EU citizen.

This is especially important in a sector that typically holds a global DNA, like L’Oréal, H&M, Target, etc. Implementing a flexible data privacy approach and actively manage compliancy will help these retailers to expand their reach and engage with customers across the globe.

5. Better marketing and more accurate data

When you comply with certain privacy regulations, data subjects must provide valid consent to process personal information. Thus, the leads you get are actively engaged. Having a leaner, more ‘real’ list to connect with might significantly increase your marketing ROI. In a similar vein, GDPR compliance reduces maintenance costs by enabling you to remove all extraneous data.


Actively managing compliancy provides several advantages, from fostering customer trust and improving cyber security to facilitating global data transfer and better marketing ROI. In addition, proper compliancy will lift your brand reputation and help you avoid hefty financial penalties.

Do you want your company to be fully compliant across boarders?
Check out my retail identity lab session: Becoming and remaining compliant

Or talk to one of our experts and learn how a robust identity platform can replace your compliance worries with peace of mind.