Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.
Armageddon or Ambrosia? General Data Protection Regulation could be the four letters to strike fear into the heart of anyone who has ever written down a number on the back of their hand, or a framework for all of us, to make our lives more relaxed and perceivably private in the age of open communication. Have you accounted for the changes?
Never mind the 5th of November, it’s remember remember the 25th of May 2018 when the real fireworks get started. While the news is full to overflowing with Brexit negotiations, that’s as nothing compared to the flurry of frenzied headlines we can expect in the run up to GDPR Day in May 2018.
If you think this is a problem for someone else - you’re right - as long as you live in a cave, cook on an open fire, and your only interaction with other humans is sifting through their skeletal remains for a decent thigh bone to use as a stone age axe.
From our lairs in Edinburgh, Livingston and Falkirk, our more evolved attitude here has been a calm resolve to make all our clients and contacts aware of the forthcoming regulatory responsibilities we all face.
Much the best first step you can make is to read our own newsletter on the subject. If Personal Data Audit, Consent, Justification, and Fines sound even less appealing than naming the Four Riders of the Apocalypse, let us provide a little bedtime reading that won’t give you nightmares.
Buried in the news noise of sweeping changes and vast penalties, there’s a major reform on the horizon for the way businesses handle personal data. “Not before time,” you may say, as you grow ever more weary of the nefariously-solicited texts, messages, mail and phone calls, inviting you to buy this and claim for that. GDPR however, will apply to every organisation that processes the personally identifiable information of an EU resident. That sounds like everything from a doctors surgery to the DVLA and, dare we say it, HMRC.
No, Brexit will not exempt us. Kid Harwood, a client to solicitor matchmaker LawBid says: “As of May 2018, businesses in the UK will be required to show where data is going, what it is being used for, prove that consent was given, keep records of all personal data and display how it is being protected. With accountability at the forefront, non-compliance is not an option business can afford to take.”
Data protection is nothing new of course. GDPR will replace an EU data protection directive that’s over twenty years old, and now lacks the oomph to deal with today’s conditions. Think Ford Mondeo versus Tesla Model S and you get the idea.
GDPR is the asteroid on a collision course with Earth. It’s been spotted by accountants, lawyers and astronomers, while it’s still a long way away. Fact is though, it’s approaching at great speed and, when it gets big enough to see up close, it’ll be too late to do anything about it. When GDPR hits, on 25 May 2018, only a dinosaur would ignore it - and we all know what happened to them the last time they ignored an asteroid. Definitely not Ambrosia.