All companies, charities, websites, NGOs and even government entities in Europe are scrambling to begin complying with GDPR. It seems that pretty much anyone who as much as stores a list of customer names is affected and would be forced to make some changes (and potentially pay hefty lawyer fees) in order to avoid being fined.

Has the European Union estimated the total cost of everyone complying with the new privacy regulation? It's certainly in the billions of euros range, but it would be nice to find an official figure.

2 Answers 2


Gartner claims that:

Worldwide spending on information security products and services will reach $86.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 7 percent over 2016, with spending expected to grow to $93 billion in 2018, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc.

That is a statement of the total information security market. Of the $6.6bn change from 2017 to 2018:

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has created renewed interest, and will drive 65 percent of data loss prevention buying decisions today through 2018.

Taking the $6.6bn change from 2017 to 2018 and applying 65% to it, then we can estimate that the cost to comply with GDPR in the first year is $4.29bn, or Euro 3.48bn at today's exchange rates.

  • 1
    Your computation doesn't make sense. If a company decides to buy a service that costs 100€ instead of one that costs 90€ because of GDPR, then the decision is "driven by GDPR", but the actual cost is only 10€, not 100€.
    – user5097
    Apr 21, 2018 at 15:24

I couldn't find any estimates made by the EU but Financial Times estimates that Fortune 500 companies alone will spend $7.8bn on compliance efforts. However, according to some surveys, EU companies will be spending less that US counterparts primarily because entities in the EU already have to comply with 1995 Data Protection Directive when dealing with personal information.

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