For anyone that doesn’t know what GDPR is, or for those of you that aren’t as tech-savvy as the computer whizzes that were bought up during the communication generation, this guide is for you. If you don’t know anything about data protection and struggle enough to tell your Instagram from your Facebook, your tweets from your GIFs and your arse from your elbow, you’ve probably never heard of GDPR and probably don’t care at this point in time.
But before you decide to move on from this page and start Googling funny cat videos, let me tell you exactly what GDPR is and why it will affect you and the way your information is stored online.
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, and it will change how businesses process and handle data, replacing the old data protection directive from 1995. 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.
The biggest changes to expect from GDPR are the changes in the rights of individuals, allowing people to have better access to the data that business have about them. There is also a new fining system that will see businesses pay (up to €10 million) for not complying with the new laws. Companies will also have to also obtain the consent of the people they collect information about. If you want to read the full 99 articles that sets out the rights of individuals and organisations covered by the regulation, you can find it here.
Once the GDPR is implemented on May 25th, 2018, it will have a varying impact on different companies and organisations. To help all businesses prepare, the ICO has created a 12-step guide which covers a range of topics you will need to think about before the GDPR is enforced such as updating procedures around subject access areas and what should be happening in the event of a data breach. If this sounds like too much hard work, there are also companies out there who are offering to help your business with all of its GDPR compliance so that you can make sure that you get it done right the first time and prevent yourself from forking out for one of the fines!
The force of the changes to businesses because of GDPR should not be underestimated and if you’re still confused after reading this, make sure you do some research before it comes in to play!