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Handling data and information legally

Are you aware of the legal obligations placed on your business for handling data and information?

If you store data which can be related to a living individual - regardless of whether that person is an employee, a customer or someone else - your business has legal obligations under the Data Protection Act.

Many micro, small and medium-sized businesses are unaware of their obligations under the Data Protection Act and are equally unaware of the consequences if they fall foul of the law.

Damage to your bottom line

When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes part of British law on 25th May 2018 the penalties for not handling data and information legally will become more severe, including a 20 million Euro fine or 4% of your annual turnover, whichever is greater.

Even with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union in the not-too-distant future, GDPR will still be legally-binding in Britain - there is no Brexit free lunch that you can use to avoid GDPR! It is a mistake to focus purely on the large fines for non-compliance, a much greater risk is likely to be the reputational damage your business suffers for not complying with the legislation.

No laughing matter

A particular challenge faced by British businesses today is that the understanding of their legal obligations under the Data Protection Act has been weak, leading to widespread non-compliance with the existing legislation (which the GDPR builds upon and extends). The punchline from the popular joke - I wouldn't start from here! - is very relevant for businesses not complying with the Data Protection Act who are thinking about preparing for the GDPR.

Not just files on the 'puter

A common misconception about the Data Protection Act (and by extension, the GDPR) is that it only applies to data held on a computer, or in an electronic form. Data - as defined in the Data Protection Act - includes:

  • A spreadsheet of your employees' salaries.
  • A handwritten list of your clients' email addresses.
  • Residential addresses written on a whiteboard in your office.

among many, many other examples and formats that data (as defined and governed by the Data Protection Act) can take.

Do you want your business to store and handle data legally?

You need your business to handle data legally and avoid the negative consequences of not doing so. Idvallo Solutions can advise and guide you in a number of ways.

What Are Your Next Steps?