A Director’s View: General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation is real, and it’s not going away (even with the onset of Brexit!).
The realities of this regulation mean that being reckless with the way customer and employee information is handled will cost businesses not only a tattered reputation, but also an enormous fine. It certainly would to mine!
So you might be wondering, why is this regulation happening? Why do we need to change how things are? Isn’t the Data Protection Act (DPA) enough? The answer is no. When I started to look at the drivers behind the new regulation, it became crystal clear to me that an imminent change is necessary.
So here are the facts. The DPA came to life in 1998. That should say it all. The way we collect data and the sheer amount of it in 2017 is completely different to that of 1998. Thinking about how much the collection of data has changed since then, I realised rather quickly that there is a legitimate reason for change. The GDPR highlights a set of changes which are well overdue.
The General Data Protection Regulation & social media
To put this into perspective, let’s take a look at social media. Back in 1998, social media hadn’t taken off – it didn’t control the lives of many like it does today. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn… the list goes on and on and on. Every 1 minute, Facebook has over 30 million new posts. Imagine how much personal information this accounts for! If that’s not enough proof for the necessity of change, consider this: between 2015 and 2016, more data was recorded than in the rest of human history. The growth of data capture is exponential!
Companies aren’t bothered
To further illustrate the problem with the existing DPA, here is another key statistic from the Symantec State of Security survey in 2016.
76% of businesses don’t believe customers consider the safe storage of their personal information as a top 3 priority
This says it all really. If you don’t believe your customers find something important, are you going to? Conversely, 88% consumers questioned in the same survey stated that the safe processing of their personal information was their number 1 priority and 75% adults don’t trust businesses with their data.
When you see such a stark difference between consumer and business beliefs, it becomes clearer why there’s a need for change. Add to this the amount of breaches businesses have experienced in the past three years, it becomes clear that businesses are not doing all they can to ensure the safety of their customer and staff information.
These are just two of the reasons why it’s so important for businesses to get on board with the upcoming regulation. It’s not something to be taken lightly and you will face harsh consequences if you cannot prove compliance.
If you’d like to find out more about how GDPR affects SMEs, read our blog ‘What SMEs should know about GDPR Compliance’ here. This provides a high-level overview of the regulation and helps you understand the role of IT in compliance.
To speak with me personally about the regulation, you can email me on email@example.com or call 0207 260 2680.
Let’s face it – the General Data Protection Regulation is here to stay, so let’s make friends with it before it’s too late.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]