Data Protection is not something new. It goes back to 1948 and The Universal Declaration of Humans Rights. It has come a long way since then, most notably with GDPR. These were agreed upon by the European Union back in April of 2016 and came into force in May 2018. In the UK, GDPR was enshrined in the Data Protection Act 2018.
Knowing exactly what GDPR is all about, why we need to do so, and why it is important are all a big deal because if things go wrong just once, it’s already too late…
What is GDPR?
Basically, it is the umbrella term for the set of legal requirements that govern how we handle people’s information. That information might be personal information such as cookies, names, addresses and other contact details. It might be sensitive information, such as ethnicity, medical history, sexuality or even credit card details. General Data Protection Regulations cover both digital and hard copy information.
Why do we need to understand it?
To put it simply, it’s the law, and we need to understand it to ensure that, (much like every other legal requirement), we know and can demonstrate we are doing things the right way.
For many, Brexit has caused some confusion around the steps they need to take for continued compliance. It’s essential to remember that the Data Protection Act 2018 encompasses GDPR and stretches way beyond the EU borders. If you are UK based and dealing with EU clients or businesses, GDPR is just as important as before.
Post-Brexit, UK data protection laws still incorporate all the key elements of GDPR, meaning that for businesses. The expectations are much the same as before. Understanding the legal requirements and doing things the right way can carry a range of benefits for your business, such as:
- Protection from cybersecurity threats, data theft, fraud and breaches
- Proof of the lawful, fair and transparent way you do business
- The best image for your brand and the ability to do business with a wider range of partners
Why is it important?
Integrity and confidentiality are vital for data security. Having the measures in place that prove good physical and technological security levels go a long way towards demonstrating compliance. It can also foster a positive and forward-thinking culture that can drive your business forwards.
Good data compliance can also drive efficiency. It prevents organisations from effectively hoarding more data than they need by ensuring they collect only relevant information for its intended purpose.
Businesses can also demonstrate the provision of the legal rights for employees, clients and individuals (data subjects) concerning:
- An individuals rights to be kept informed about the reasons why their data is held and who it might be shared with
- Their rights to access the data held about them on request
- The right to change data if it is wrong or incomplete
- Their right to be forgotten if there is no good reason for their data’s continued storage
- The right to restrict data, if it is wrong or has been processed inaccurately
- The right to opt-out of any automated decision making processes their data might be used for
We can see GDPR hasn’t gone away. In fact, post-Brexit and with so many of us working remotely, in an ever-changing business world these days, it’s become more relevant than ever.
If you have questions or concerns about GDPR compliance, I can help put your mind at ease or work out the answers.
Let’s work together to ensure GDPR compliance in your organisation.