If you didn’t know already, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it is going to be introduced to the UK in May, 2018. The GDPR will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive, meaning that it will affect how all business store and share data. The aim of this new legislation is to synchronise data privacy laws throughout Europe whilst also giving greater protection and rights to individuals. This means that we will have new rights to access the information businesses hold about us whilst making these companies manage their data more effectively and have extremely effective GDPR compliance.
GDPR relates only to companies within the EU, but given the massive scale of the market, many businesses are deciding it’s easier to apply its terms worldwide. For example, Apple’s privacy tools are worldwide, as are Facebook’s.
Here are three ways you can take to make sure that your business is as ready as possible before the GDPR is introduced:
- Educate Yourself
Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position in regards to the GDPR by being ignorant of what it means. By thoroughly reading up on its significance and how it affects you and your business, you could prevent hefty fines that many companies will inevitably receive due to their lack of knowledge about the subject.
- Make Sure Everyone Understands
Everyone at your business should be aware of the GDPR and what the risks are once it is introduced. By just leaving it up to the IT department, you will cause unawareness in the rest of the business which will leave your company open to make mistakes. It is better to be safe by keeping your whole team educated about GDPR and guaranteeing that correct procedure is followed.
- Look at Your Current IT Security Policy
Once you think you understand what the GDPR means for you and your business, you need to take a look at how you handle data at the moment and what IT security measures you have in place. Think about what information you collect from people and how you are storing that data. If someone were to request you delete their data, would you be able to do so? This is just one of the new rules of the regulation. You need to work out how you already abide by the regulations standards and what will need to be changed. If you are struggling to work out what still needs to be done, there are many firms out there who are willing to help you with your GPDR compliance and what you can do moving forward.
Currently, under the 1995 Data Protection Directive, failure to conform to the data protection rules can lead to companies being fined an amount of up to £500,000. The highest fine to date has been around £400,000. Although, when the GDPR becomes effective and in to play, penalties and fines will be much harder and will result in firms potentially being fined 4% of their annual global turnover or EUR 20 million, whichever is the highest.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that once the UK completes its Brexit negotiations, it will be an external nation. People are, therefore, hoping that the European Commission will decide that Britain ensures an acceptable level of protection to permit EU member states to hand over personal data to British companies. If it doesn’t, however, then that’s not good for any business that currently works within the mainland of the European Union, unless they are able to open arms of their business within the EU. Contacting an EU representative service will ensure that you are within the rules and in compliance with article 27.