GDPR brings benefits – to counterfeiters

In a few days, General Data Protection Regulation will become fully operational. This new standard significantly impacts any industry that works with clients, employees, students or other people. It means that every industry will be affected. It does not mean that thousands of inspectors will come to companies on May 26th and fine them with devastating sums. But there will be a risk of troubles from the first day and authorities and nonprofits are expected to harden step by step. Those who will ignore the new regulation must count with almost unlimited penalties.

Brand protection will also be, perhaps surprisingly, heavily impacted. We have already warned on this blog that if it is possible to interconnect particular product with the particular customer, track&trace methods will face problems. Product information will be seen as pseudo-anonymised data and will be covered by the regulation, which makes fakes fighting more difficult.

In the meantime, it has been published that also „the other side of brand protection“ faces problems with GDPR. New data protection standard makes it difficult to find who operates e-trade platforms and who are the sellers. Until now, a significant proportion of brand protection activities is based on manual or automated browsing across different e-shops and looking for products of the particular brand. Open databased, such as WHOIS, enable easy location who operates what e-commerce platform, relations between operators and traders etc. Based on such findings, brand protectors can understand if the subject has a kind of relations with authorised dealers. If there is no connection, it is a high risk that the product is fake.

The problem is those big databases of e-commerce providers are not able to meet GDPR requirements from the very principle. If you ask a question about a shop provider, the database can show information about a person, which is personal data. Of course, the databases will not risk huge penalties so that from now the information will be available only to those who can prove that they need information about a particular shop and they have no other possibility to protect their rights.  It is likely that new arrangement will not impact work of law enforcement units but to „ordinary companies“ it will bring difficulties or even impossibility to continue.  Read more on Securing Industry.

It leads to a question that has been already asked several times on this blog. Does it make sense to sell a product indiscernible from fakes and consequently invest into counterfeits fighting? Isn’t it better to produce something that cannot be copied by the counterfeiters?


Optaglio helps through its products and services that include:

Continuous innovation and technological development to keep advantage against counterfeiters.

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