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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are four simple words which have been described as a “game changer for everyone” by the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). This new piece of EU data protection law represents a major shake up in the way we collect, process and store personal data.
The legislation aims to standardise data protection legislation across the EU, giving individuals more control over how, when and by whom their data is processed. With 261 pages of legal text and jargon to wade through, it’s not an easy task to determine what actions you need to take in order to be ready.
And the deadline is looming. The legislation coming into force on 25th May 2018, there is no transition period, and there are significant fines in place for businesses who do not comply with the regulations. Under GDPR, fines could reach €20 million or up to 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is highest.
Ultimately it means a shift in our approach towards the way we use data. As businesses, we need to move away from ambiguous box ticking and we need to instil a culture of privacy first. We need to ask, is the data being requested necessary? How long do I reasonably need to store this information for? Is there a clear reason for using this data? Is the reason for processing this data clear to the person I’m collecting data about?
There are a few steps which organisation should be doing now to be ready for the 25th May deadline:
- Raise awareness
Are the decision makers and key personnel in your organisation aware of the legal changes and implications?
- Carry out a data audit
What data do you hold? How do you collect it? Where is it stored? Who has access to it? What security measures are in place to protect it?
- Review your privacy policies and consent practices
You will need to explain the lawful basis you are processing data. Understanding your policies will give you a strong foundation to support your GDPR compliance ahead of the deadline.
- Talk to your service providers
In today’s world, we use an array of third party tools to capture and process customer data. Talk to your suppliers and ensure they are meeting their requirements under the new legislation.
Despite the scary fines and legal jargon, there is one significant positive to this legislation. Databases will be much more efficient, for learners, and for marketers, they will be much more targeted. The opportunities to engage with your customers (and to finally clean your database!), will be greatly increased.
For more information about GDPR and what it means for your organisation, High Speed Training have developed a fully accredited training course to help you understand the upcoming changes. Split into four modules, the course is designed to give an overview of the legislation, setting you on the right track to be ready for GDPR.
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