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While it’s rational for the enterprise to be preoccupied with the unprecedented regulatory fines associated with GDPR, the quieter mechanisms for consumer litigation and class action may pose a greater existential threat to the enterprise over time.


  • GDPR grants data subjects significant rights in pursuing legal action against businesses that are in violation of the regulation.
  • For the enterprise, ongoing litigation and the toll of class-action lawsuits has the potential for greater cost over time than any single regulatory fine.
  • The ability to build consumer trust, backed by rigorous technical compliance capabilities, will be an important defense against consumer litigation.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies the key data subject rights with regard to pursuing legal action against data controllers and processors.
  • Evaluates the potential impact of "crowdsourced" consumer enforcement of the regulation via litigation.
  • Assesses the enterprise expenses associated with ongoing litigation, relative to a one-time regulatory fine.
  • Identifies the technical capabilities that will be required for retrieving data during data discovery and litigation.
  • Evaluates the role of brand reputation and consumer trust in an enterprise GDPR compliance strategy.

Key questions answered

  • What data subject rights enable legal action against the enterprise under GDPR?
  • Why is litigation and class action from consumers potentially more costly than any single regulatory fine?
  • What are the operational burdens of ongoing litigation?
  • Why is consumer trust a critical asset in pursuing GDPR compliance?
  • How can the enterprise gain consumer trust and insulate itself from consumer legal action?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • GDPR arms consumers with legal mechanisms for enforcement
  • Ongoing litigation has the potential for greater cost than fines
  • Brand reputation and consumer trust is an important defense


  • Further reading
  • Author

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