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UK firms told to prepare for GDPR

May 31
Tags: Capgemini
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UK firms told to prepare for GDPR

UK businesses should already be preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is due to come into force from May 2018.

That's according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which stressed that, when the new rules are introduced, all organisations holding personal information must have certain procedures in places to ensure they are in compliance.

One recommendation from the BCC is that all businesses create a record of all personal data the firm holds, where it came from and who it has been shared with.

Companies are also advised to conduct a review of how they seek, obtain and record consent from individuals regarding use of their data. 

Appropriate procedures should be in place to guarantee that any data breaches are detected promptly, and investigations should be carried out to determine whether the business needs a data protection officer.

David Riches, executive director at the BCC, emphasised the importance of organisations being proactive in their preparations for GDPR and not leaving their arrangements "until the 11th hour".

He added: "Those firms that don't fulfil the necessary responsibilities leave themselves vulnerable to tough penalties, not to mention public scrutiny. The General Data Protection Regulation is intended to reflect modern working practices in the digital age and will strengthen consumer trust and confidence in businesses."

The UK Information Commissioner's Office has created a '12 steps to take now' document in relation to GDPR. It outlines the need for companies to take actions such as reviewing and preparing for change in their privacy notices, checking procedures linked to individual data rights and identifying the lawful basis for their data processing activity.

One industry that is likely to be heavily affected by next year's regulatory change - given the amount of sensitive personal data it holds - is financial services.

In February this year, Capgemini published a report suggesting that GDPR should encourage financial institutions to take action and strive for greater transparency with their customers, particularly where cybersecurity breaches are concerned.

Zhiwei Jiang, global head of financial services, insights and data at the firm, said: "When GDPR is introduced and all breaches are likely to be made public soon after they occur, many people will be in for a surprise. The introduction of GDPR legislation next year is a prime opportunity for business transformation for banks and insurers to become the digital fortresses consumers believe them to be."

Capgemini's research revealed that banks and insurers generally enjoy more trust in the cybersecurity of their systems than other sectors. However, only one in five banking executives (21 per cent) had a high level of confidence that they would be able to detect a breach, let alone defend against one.

Around two-thirds (65 per cent) of the consumers surveyed cited trust in data privacy and security as an extremely significant part of their decision to use a particular bank.

Only three per cent of people thought their own bank had ever been the target of a security breach, even though one in four financial institutions said they had fallen victim to a hack in the past.

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Image: guli studio via iStock

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