GDPR is coming, now it’s time to act

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While the Christmas countdowns may have already begun we shouldn’t forget that the GDPR clock is ticking too. On 25 May 2018 the new regulations will be implemented. Have you analysed the impact this will have on your organisation?

In the last month, several reports have been published indicating that certain sectors and industries are not ready for the GDPR. A survey of 460 senior decision makers across a range of UK organisations found that:

  • 27% of all business sectors have no awareness at all of the GDPR
  • 20% of businesses have not taken any steps to prepare for the GDPR
  • 18% believe that if they had to pay the maximum fine it would put them at risk of redundancy

Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, said: “There are 5.4 million businesses in the UK that employ fewer than 250 people. When it comes to data protection, surveys show they tend to be less well prepared.”

The good news is, help is out there, and most resources are accessible free of charge.

On 1 November the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s data regulator, launched a dedicated telephone service to help small/micro businesses comply with the GDPR. This adds to the package of SME resources and tools available on the ICO website.

We have signposted lots of clients and contacts from all sectors and sizes to the ICO’s 12 Steps To Take Now infographic as the starting point for compliance planning. The ICO has also announced that it will be simplifying this to provide more targeted information for the small/micro business sector.

The GDPR will impact all organisations but it doesn’t mean that you need to start a costly and protracted compliance regime. The basic starting point is with the five Ws:

  • what data do you have?
  • why do you have it? (delete it appropriately if you don’t need it)
  • how do you collect/process it?
  • where is it stored?
  • who accesses the data
  • when do you delete it?

Our advice is don’t put off starting this task any further. The earlier you start the process the easier it will be to make sure you’re compliant by the deadline. It could be the key to a much happier New Year.

For more IT or data protection help and advice, call 0191 211 7777 or email [email protected].