As you may know by now the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on 25 May 2018. It has been covered in the media and the panic it has caused is similar to the millennium bug. There is no need to panic; however, there is some misinformation out there that we’re concerned will be in danger of being considered truth:
GDPR will stop dentists ringing patients to remind them about appointments” or “cleaners and gardeners will face massive fines that will put them out of business” or “all breaches must be reported under GDPR”
It’s this kind of misinformation that risks us losing sight of what the new law is about:
- Improving transparency
- Enhanced rights for people
- Increased accountability for those who are at fault
GDPR will regulate and harmonize privacy and data protection laws within the European Economic Area (EEA). It also aims to establish and expand on an individual’s ability to access and control the personal data that you collect from them.
The GDPR might apply to you if you are processing the personal data of people in the EEA, even if your business is located outside of the EEA.
What Do We Need To Do?
If you are affected, there are a few things you need to do. You can document your policies and procedures with respect to how you process personal data in accordance with the GDPR by taking the following steps:
- Awareness. You should make sure that decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have.
- Information you hold. You should document what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit.
- Communicating privacy information. You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation.
- Individuals’ rights. You should check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have, including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format.
- Subject access requests. You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.
- Lawful basis for processing personal data. You should identify the lawful basis for your processing activity in the GDPR, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it.
- Consent. You should review how you seek, record and manage consent and whether you need to make any changes. Refresh existing consents now if they don’t meet the GDPR standard.
- Children. You should start thinking now about whether you need to put systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent for any data processing activity.
- Data breaches. You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.
- Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments. You should familiarise yourself now with the ICO’s code of practice on Privacy Impact Assessments and work out how and when to implement them in your organisation.
- Data Protection Officers. You should designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance and assess where this role will sit within your organisation’s structure and governance arrangements. You should consider whether you are required to formally designate a Data Protection Officer.
- International. If your organisation operates in more than one EU member state (i.e. you carry out cross-border processing), you should determine your lead data protection supervisory authority. For details on GDPR changes, see the following resources:
Further information on GDPR can be found from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
If you have any queries on GDPR please do not hesitate to contact us.