TT263: Get ready for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

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Get ready for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

The new GDPR is now only seven months away – and now is the time to start preparing your business in order to be ready in good time before its introduction on 25 May 2018.

Many of the GDPR’s main concepts and principles are much the same as those in the current Data Protection Act (DPA) which has been in force for the last 20 years.

If you are complying with the current DPA, most of your approach to compliance will remain the same. However, there are some new elements and enhancements – so you will need to do some things for the first time and some things differently.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has produced some initial guidance about the new rules, with more information expected to follow in the next few months.

The initial guidance has been set out by the ICO in a series of 12 Steps that you should take now to prepare for the GDPR’s introduction in May next year. These 12 Steps are summarised below.

It is essential to plan your approach to GDPR compliance now, and to obtain ‘buy-in’ from the key people in your organisation. In a large or complex business this will probably involve financial, IT, personnel, marketing, governance and communication considerations. Some parts of the GDPR will have more of an impact on some organisations than on others. The ICO has recommended that the 12 Steps are reviewed in detail and the parts of the GDPR which will have the greatest impact on your business model are given the most prominence in your planning process.

A summary of the ICO’s 12 Steps now follows – more detail on each step can be found at: – https://ico.org.uk/media/1624219/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf

Preparing for the GDPR – 12 Steps to take now

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Subject access requests – You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Data breaches – You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.
  10. 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 as well as the latest guidance from the Article 29 Working Party, and work out how and when to implement them in your organisation.
  11. 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.
  12. 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. Article 29 Working Party guidelines will help you do this.

More information about the GDPR can be found at the ICO website, and further guidance is expected to be published by ICO in the next few months.

We will issue a further Topical Tip as soon as any new guidance is available.

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