How can the GDPR help me manage a conflict with a competitor?

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Could you ever have imagined that the General Data Protection Regulation could help you settle a dispute with one of your competitors? Furthermore, the GDPR has become a means of counter-attack against competitors and a tool to make you stand out in the eyes of your customers/partners, instilling trust. Indeed, in a judgment handed down by a Paris court, the ‘TJ’ of Paris on April 15, 2022, which follows a series of rulings with the same principle (examples: Commercial division, February 02, 2020, 17-31. 614; Commercial division, March 17, 2021, 19-10.414), it was confirmed that failure to comply with regulations governing general terms and conditions of sale, legal notices and privacy policy can be punished as unfair competition, with the payment of damages.

This type of breach creates a competitive advantage for those who fail to comply with the regulations, and therefore towards competitors who make the effort to keep up with legislative/regulatory changes and adapt their business to them. In the opposite direction, it is not uninteresting to be able to identify and raise an issue of non-compliance with the regulations in force by a competitor, even in a dispute initially linked to another issue (counterfeiting, breach of contract, etc.). To avoid a backlash, it is important to keep abreast of these changes.

Becoming compliant can sometimes be perceived as an additional and unnecessary burden. However, being GDPR-compliant not only enables you to avoid sanctions applied by the French Data Protection Authority or the Department of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control in particular, but also to look after your reputation by thus transmitting the image of a professional who is up-to-date and concerned about the privacy and interests of its employees/partners/customers, which is a real advantage.

Diana Cunha Lopes / IP Lawyer