Be prepared , but not scared – Here’s our initial GDPR Compliance Guide

There is an awful lot of scaremongering going on at the moment about the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into affect in May 2018. Whilst we agree that any new law should be respected, at O&K we take a pragmatic approach to advising our clients and business friends, rather than frighten people into panic mode.

With the help of our business friends A City Law Firm Ltd, who are soon to have a presence in our Central Croydon office, we are able to assist clients take a practical approach to ensuring they are compliant with these new data rules.

Here’s a quick GDPR Compliance Guide to some of the basic things you should know about these new regulations.

Here are some common questions, with answers, about GDPR

What is GDPR ?
By now, you’ve probably heard of the GDPR which stands for the General Data Protection Regulation, a European privacy law approved by the European Commission back in 2016. In May 2018 it will replace any previous law governing data protection. A regulation such as the GDPR is a binding act, which must be followed in its entirety throughout the EU.

The GDPR is an attempt to strengthen, harmonize, and modernize EU data protection law and enhance individual rights and freedoms, consistent with the European understanding of privacy as a fundamental human right.

Despite Brexit, the UK is still bound by this new law, not only because the UK has chosen to (because it makes sense) but trading with countries who operate under GDPR will be compromised if we don’t uphold the same standards. So it makes complete sense to adopt this law.

The GDPR regulates, among other things, how individuals and organizations may obtain, use, store, and eliminate personal data. It will have a impact on businesses around the world, including the UK, so we think it’s best to prepare in advance for these new rules.

At the core of GDPR sits ‘consent’. At the moment businesses are able to assume consent; using data to communicate with any subject that had contacted them. With the new reguations businesses need to obtain definite, provable and unambiguous consent in order to send their data subjects marketing collateral and other communications.

How do I obtain unambigous consent?

According to the new rules consent needs to be clearly givenby data subjects via ‘a statement or by a clear

affirmative action, signifying agreement to the processing of personal data relating to himor her’.

In other words this will signal the end of automatic, pre-ticked boxes, instead requiring data subjects to explicitly take action (ticking a box, changing privacy/communication settings, etc) in order to demonstrate their consent

to have their data processed.

When does GDPR come into effect?
The GDPR was adopted by the EU in April 2016, but will officially come into play on 25th May 2018. As there will not be a “grace period,” we think that it’s important that businesses impacted by the GDPR get ready for it now. So we are advising our clients to prepare now, so as not to have any hassle from May 2018 onwards.

Who needs to comply?
All organizations established in the EU, and those organizations involved in processing personal data of EU citizens. This basically means that the GDPR will apply to any organization processing personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where it is established, and regardless of where its processing activities take place. This means the GDPR could apply to the vast majority of organizations anywhere in the world.

It also applies across all industries and sectors, so in other words it applies to your business!

In a nutshell

After the 25th May 2018, all businesses will be legally required to document data processing activities.

We suggest that leading up to May 2018 you review how you collect, store and manage data and make the necessary changes in order to be compliant and avoid possible penalties. Larger companies may have the luxury of employing a dedicated Data Protection Officer to make sure this new regulation is complied with. Smaller businesse should look to make an employee (perhaps an IT manager) take responsibility of ensuring your business systems and processes are compliant.
If all this is a little daunting, don’t worry. We have organised a FREE workshop / seminar at 3.00pm on 18th January 2018 in central Croydon to explain GDPR in a little more detail, providing you with all the information and help you’ll need to make sure you are ready for this change. You can BOOK YOUR FREE PLACE HERE

So we hope this short GDPR Compliance Guide has been of assistance.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch for more assistance. We can even put you in touch with our business friends at ‘A City Law Firm Limited’ who have got a really useful GDPR Checklist that will help ensure you prepare for the new regulation.