2018 – the year for GDPR and powerful consumers

2018 – the year for GDPR and powerful consumers

As most of you should well be aware, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced from May 25th 2018. The GDPR follows the need to reform the current Data Protection Act, giving the consumer more control over how their personal data is used and processed by different companies. Any company that handles data will have to comply with the GDPR, whether they are based in the European Union or not. Failure to comply with the GDPR can lead to a fine of up to €20million or 4% of annual turnover globally.

Several surveys that have been conducted appear to indicate that companies are either unaware or unprepared for the enforcement of the GDPR in May of this year. However, many of the main principles within the GDPR have already required compliance for many years, with a few notable companies having faced enforcement measures and fines from regulators, such as Equifax, Yahoo!, Uber and Talk Talk to name a few from recent years.

As for consumers, the GDPR is a legal regime that can help empower citizens and consumers in situations where their data has been mishandled or mis-sold. Nearly half (48%) of UK adults plan to activate new rights over their personal data, according to a GDPR related survey [source].

Consent statements and privacy policies will have to be clear and written in plain language, consent will need to be obtained by a clear affirmative action - and silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity will not count as consenting. Not only this, but consumers will also be presented with new data rights that give them the license to access, erase and rectify any of their personal data that is held by organisations. These are just a few of the benefits to being a consumer under the GDPR, being enforced in just a few months’ time.

If you are unclear about what GDPR means to your business, customers or whether you are GDPR ready/compliant, call the professional team at Total Group today on 01727 881224 for more information or a FREE supply chain audit.  

Alison Stewart
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