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What happens if you break the GDPR law?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the European Union’s (EU) set of laws for safeguarding the data and data privacy rights of EU citizens. Since the implementation of GDPR in 2018, numerous companies have been penalized for violating it.

Even if your company is not located or based in the EU, your company will be under purview of the GDPR if it has dealings with EU citizens. If you need to know the size of companies affected by GDPR, follow the link for an answer.

Whatever your company’s size or location, it’s important to know what happens if a business breaks the GDPR law. It may well apply to you in the future, even if it doesn’t right now. Let’s look at the consequences of non-compliance here.

Consequences Of A GDPR Violation

If your company is found in violation of or non-compliance with GDPR, there are various possible repercussions you may have to face:

Hefty Fines

The GDPR violation repercussion most feared by the majority of tech companies is, simply, economic. If your company is found to be in violation of GDPR, a fine might be imposed of up to four percent of the company’s total annual turnover.

These fines usually don’t exceed a total value of twenty million euros; however, the nature and magnitude of the violation will determine the total fine.

Moreover, the companies facing the most severe fines will be those unable to complete the most basic steps of protecting user data. Large fines will also be incurred by those companies that transfer their users’ data to unsafe third parties.

Legal Repercussions

Organizations or individuals whose data has been compromised as a result of being stored in your company’s database have the right to take legal action against your company in the event of a breach.

Lowered Reputation

GDPR violations are certainly damning and not a good look for any company. Your directors, consultants, and the highest levels of management are the ones that will come directly into the spotlight in the event of a GDPR violation because these are the people tasked with ensuring compliance.

Not only that but most companies in GDPR violation are bound to come under public scrutiny. A good deal of transparency is required when it comes to GDPR. A violation on the part of your company may well attract public attention while dealing with the legal and financial repercussions.

This, in turn, results in:

Commercial Repercussions

It’s no surprise that companies that have been found to be in GDPR violation have suffered significant commercial setbacks. If you don’t ensure GDPR compliance, you can expect to lose existing customers and scare off potential ones. It’s only natural — no customer would want to risk their personal data being exposed.

This also extends to dealings with other businesses. No company will want to partner up and share their consumers’ data with an organization that is known to violate GDPR and, therefore, can’t be trusted to keep third-party information safe.

Overall, a lack of trust and some degree of negative public opinion is bound to define any company that is found to violate GDPR.


To wrap it up, not complying with GDPR can have severe consequences for your company and might even force it to cease trading. The economic cost is, of course, devastating for many developing tech companies. But the hit to the reputation can prove to be an even worse repercussion in the long run.

Considering all of this, you can understand why GDPR compliance is an important priority for all tech companies dealing with EU citizen data. How do you know if you’re GDPR compliant? Ketch can help—contact us today.

September 19, 2021

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