General Data Protection Regulation – Are you ready?

We can already hear the snores and sounds of sleeping and we haven’t even started yet, however this information is important and needs to be understood unless you want to face a large fine.

What is General Data Protection Regulation?

Data Protection has always been a dry to subject to many and an annoyance to everybody, but it is soon going to become a major concern when the “General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)” is introduced in May 2018. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, this legislation is coming.

If you deal in either Personal or Sensitive data, you will have to be aware of the implications of GDPR and comply with the new regulations. Breaches of some provisions by businesses, which law makers have deemed to be most important for data protection, could lead to fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover for the preceding financial year, whichever is the greater, being levied by data watchdogs. For other breaches, the authorities could impose fines on companies of up to €10m or 2% of global annual turnover, whichever is greater.

The complexities of GDPR are too great to detail here and we would recommend you visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/ – for more information.

How to prepare for General Data Protection Regulation?

The ICO has prepared a guide of 12 steps which should be taken now in order to be ready for GDPR when it launches.  The steps are as follows:

1. Awareness
You should make sure that decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have.

2. Information you hold
You should document what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit.

3. Communicating privacy information
You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation.

4. Individuals’ rights
You should check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have, including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format.

5. Subject access requests
You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.

6. Legal basis for processing personal data
You should look at the various types of data processing you carry out, identify your legal basis for carrying it out and document it.

7. Consent
You should review how you are seeking, obtaining and recording consent and whether you need to make any changes.

8. Children
You should start thinking now about putting systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to gather parental or guardian consent for the data processing activity.

9. Data breaches
You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.

10. Data Protection by Design and Data
Protection Impact Assessments You should familiarise yourself now with the guidance the ICO has produced on Privacy Impact Assessments and work out how and when to implement them in your organisation.

11. Data Protection Officers
You should designate a Data Protection Officer, if required, or someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance and assess where this role will sit within your organisation’s structure and governance arrangements.

12. International
If your organisation operates internationally, you should determine which data protection supervisory authority you come under.

For more information on these steps, preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.

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Preparing for the GDPR