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Europe's new data privacy law will be worth the hassle, says Dutch prince

  • Europe is set to roll out its general data protection laws on May 25 and complying with those regulations may be a costly hassle for companies, according to Prince Constantijn van Oranje of the Netherlands.
  • But those who comply may have a competitive advantage because they would be seen as more trustworthy, he said.

Complying with European data privacy laws that come into effect next week might be a costly hassle for companies in the short-term but that would mean they would be seen as more trustworthy, according to Prince Constantijn van Oranje of the Netherlands.

To comply with the rules, companies will have to assess how they're storing and using user data, Prince Constantijn told CNBC's "The Rundown" on Thursday.

"Of course it's a hassle," he said. "And it'll come at a certain cost. But once you got your data infrastructure well set up, it really is something you can deal with."

In fact, he said: "It might be a competitive advantage because the companies will probably be more trustworthy. On the other hand, they'll have higher compliance cost."

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on May 25. It will require businesses to be more upfront about the information they hold on people. Users would be able to ask companies for the information they hold on them, and firms will have to provide those for free. Users will also have more control over how their data is used by companies.

Netherlands wants to be a gateway to Europe

Prince Constantijn explained that the Netherlands, which is positioning itself as a center for innovation, has many advantages that could attract potential companies and investors looking to expand into Europe.

Those include good tax rules, an open economy and availability of talent and capital.

The prince is also a special envoy to a Dutch accelerator called StartupDelta, which was created to promote start-ups in the Netherlands, connect them to investors, and provide them with access to capital, talent and technology.

StartupDelta plans to help Dutch start-ups move abroad into newer markets like Southeast Asia, he said.

"Singapore is a very good place to start your journey," he said, referring to the city-state as a gateway to the broader Southeast Asian region.

"So we're looking really at seeing how we can establish ourselves here, supporting companies that are going out here," he added.