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By Lynne Gowers on 24th May 2018
GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation, comes into effect on 25th May and is the biggest shake up of data protection laws in the UK for 20 years.
It’s been a long time coming, and that’s because the way businesses use data has changed massively since the mid-90s, and the existing data protection legislation (Data Protection Act 1998), is simply no longer fit for purpose.
GDPR is a wide-ranging regulation designed to protect the privacy of individuals in the European Union (EU) and control over how businesses handle personal data, including how it is collected, stored and used.
So as an individual, if you shop online, allow cookies on websites, subscribe to newsletters, or otherwise share your personal data, GDPR will play a role in how it is used.
It’s not just big businesses that have to worry about GDPR. Even if you are just a one-man operation, if your business holds any personal data, such as on employees or clients, then GDPR applies to you.
There is a huge amount of information online around GDPR, so we’ve tried to digest this into the fundamentals of the regulation, followed by 7 simple, practical steps you, as a business owner, can take to comply.
GDPR broadly covers the following areas:
Personal data – This includes customers, employees, suppliers or anyone else you collect personal data from. Names, contact details, bank account and credit card information are all examples of personal data.
Collecting personal data – You can only collect personal data if you have a legal reason to, such as for a contract for services. You must make it clear what the personal data will be used for, and not use it for anything else.
The right to access – Individuals can ask a business what data is being held on them. This isn’t new, but with GDPR, businesses must respond within one month and can’t charge a fee.
The right to be forgotten – Individuals can ask a company to delete their personal data form their records, unless the business has a legal reason for holding it, for example tax or compliance purposes.
Data portability – Individuals can request a digital copy of their personal data, (usually a CSV file), for example if they are switching between service providers.
Data breaches – Any breach of personal data must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) You must do this within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach, where feasible.
It might seem scary, but what GDPR really comes down to is being clear and ethical with people’s personal information.
Here are 7 practical steps you can take as a small business owner:
Where a business fails to follow the basic principles for processing data, such as consent or ignoring individuals’ rights over their data, there are serious consequences.
For an infringement of GDPR, businesses can be fined a maximum of €20 million or 4% of turnover, whichever is higher.
We take personal data very seriously and respect the data rights of everyone we deal with.
Going forward we will need your express permission to communicate any news, offers and promotions and you will be able to manage your preferences for the type of communications we send you at any time.
Please note that if you are a client, you will still receive information on compliance matters and regarding the service we provide.
The ICO has a wealth of advice on how to comply with GDPR and how to improve data protection practices in your business. Click here for full details
If you have any concerns over how Boox handles your personal data, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.
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