GDPR deadline looms 04 May 2018

Businesses have just under one month to ensure that they’re compliant with the new GDPR data protection laws that come into force on 25 May 2018. 

GDPR deadline looms may 2018 contact laws regulations news

As we’ve previously highlighted on the front page of Laundry & Cleaning Today (March 2018 issue), GDPR is not just something for big businesses to be aware of. 

Any business that processes any personal data is affected. 

So, if you hold personal data in some form, such as customer databases or employee payroll records, then you do need to act. You’ve probably started to see emails from a numbers of sources letting you know that you’re on their database, and asking you to confirm that you’re happy to continue to receive updates from them. In fact, if you haven’t already, those registered on our own Laundry & Cleaning Today database will be contacted and asked the same. It’s important that you read and respond to these emails. 

So, what is GDPR exactly? The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR for short) is a new, EU law that governs how personal data is handled and protected. The new regulation builds on the existing data protection law (the Data Protection Act 1998), but strengthens the rules around customers’ consent, giving us the right to withdraw consent whenever we like. If you’re already adhering to DPA guidelines then you are part of the way to complying with GDPR, but there are some differences. 

Most notably the fines for non-compliance will be far heftier and companies must report a breach within 72 hours of realising it. In essence, organisations need to keep records of all personal data, be able to prove that consent was given to hold that data, show where the data’s going, what it’s being used for, and how it’s being protected. 

The first step is to know your data and carry out a comprehensive data audit. It may be that you need to issue a similar communication, as mentioned above, to the ones that you’re receiving from other organisations.

You may also need to introduce new policies or change existing ones, create tighter security measures around data storage and train staff to recognise a breach and act on it within the 72-hour timeframe. As every business is different it’s hard to produce a one size fits all industry guide to complying with GDPR. 

To help understand how your business might be affected then the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is a useful place to start. Their website and helpline offer plenty of advice for businesses of all sizes.

Make sure to keep up to date with Laundry & Cleaning Today for the latest news in the industry. Laundry & Cleaning Today is, without doubt, the industry’s leading trade newspaper. Click here for the latest laundry and cleaning news.

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