The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) the UK relies on, it is the result of four years of work by the EU to bring data protection legislation into line with the new ways that data is now being used.
The current DPA will be superseded by the new GDPR legislation. It introduces tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches, and gives people more say over what companies can do with their data.
The GDPR came into force for all EU member states on 24th May 2016, however the law actually applies to businesses from 25th May 2018.
'Controllers' and 'processors' of data need to abide by the GDPR.
The controller could be any organisation, from commercial companies to charities or government. A processor could be from any firm doing the actual data processing.
The GDPR will still apply to controllers and processors based outside of the EU if they are dealing with data belonging to EU residents.
Once the legislation comes into effect, controllers must ensure personal data is processed lawfully, transparently, and for a specific purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled and the data is no longer required, it should be deleted.
The Information Commissioner's Office has put together 12 steps to take now.
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.
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.
You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation.
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.
You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.
You should identify the lawful basis for your processing activity in the GDPR, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it.
You should review how you seek, record and manage consent and whether you need to make any changes. Refresh existing consents now if they donÂ’t meet the GDPR standard.
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.
You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.
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.
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.
If your organisation operates in more than one EU member state (ie 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.
The 12 steps to take now PDF is available on the ICO website.
For more info about GDPR visit https://ico.org.uk