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How prepared are you for the GDPR?
Tuesday 19 September 2017
Today we will review the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and discuss why it is so important.
The GDPR is a new European regulation that governs the way organisations should protect and handle our personal data. It will come into force on the 25 May 2018, after firms were given a two transition period to prepare themselves to comply with the regulation.
The penalties for non-compliance are stiff. Those organisations that fail to comply with the regulation face heavy fines amounting to up to 20 million euros or 4 percent of annual turnover, whichever is greater.
The regulation will radically change the way organisations handle our data. It will apply to all organisations based in the EU but also any business that provides goods and services to the citizens of the EU. One of the key requirements is that if a company suffers a data breach they will need to report it within 72 hours of its occurrence.
The new regulation is to be applauded as it’s all about protecting our privacy. It gives us the right to ask questions about the personal data that companies hold on us, how they use, store and protect it. Importantly it also allows individuals the ‘right to be forgotten’, essentially meaning we can request organisations delete all information about us.
So far, so good. So how prepared are UK organisations for the new regulation?
Not very it seems. Some legal experts estimate that less than a third of organisations are getting to grips with the new rules. It seems the main challenge is that most companies have no idea what data they hold and where it is held. Some seem to be ignorant of how the regulation will affect their business.
Ignorance is no defence under the law however.
Organisations need to prepare now. If there is a data breach, they face huge fines, reputational damage and – in the worst case scenario - bankruptcy.
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