General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes live

A new data protection regulation goes live in May – and, yes, it does affect you

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a pan-EU standard that replaces the UK’s existing Data Protection Act 1998. Experts say it will remain in place even after Brexit, though details could be amended once it passes into UK law.

Even so, companies continuing to trade with EU member states will be expected to comply with the regulation, in a reflection of its aspiration to serve as a single standard that applies across borders.

That means UK businesses should be working on GDPR compliance in advance of the 25 May launch date. Failure to comply could lead to a fine of €20 million, or 4pc of turnover.

“The GDPR is a big deal for UK-based companies,” says Just Recruitment director and former technology consultant Peter Foy. “The financial cost of non-compliance is eye-watering, and the reputational cost of a data breach is similarly sizeable.

“There is no excuse not to be working hard on GDPR compliance. A company’s ongoing success could depend on it, for all sorts of reasons.”

To help organisations struggling to understand the GDPR, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has established a helpline. By calling 0303 123 1113, small businesses can speak to ICO experts, who will guide them through the process of becoming compliant with the regulation.

Alternatively, the ICO website has a number of downloadable guides and resources that explain the GDPR, and help organisations comply. It also features interactive surveys to help users assess their data protection processes and make any changes required by the GDPR.

“There is a lot of high-quality free advice available from the government and the EU concerning the GDPR,” states Mr Foy. “For companies that are struggling to get on top of this business-critical issue, these are welcome resources. The deadline for enforcement is fast approaching. We all need to be ready.”

© 2018 Just Recruitment Group Ltd.

Posted on Tuesday May 15