GDPR – Is there any good news?

Written by Simon Marsh on 27 April 2018

Inbox choked with requests to renew contact? Queasy feeling about penalties of up to €20 million? Sleepless nights about 25 May? The symptoms of the General Data Protection Regulation are affecting all of us and it is businesses which are required to find the cure. So is this more red tape or is there any good news?

Just in case anybody has missed it, GDPR affects any business which holds personal data and GDPR has to be implemented by 25 May. As the definition of personal data can cover everything from a person’s name to their medical records and from their photograph to their bank details it is likely that every business will be affected.

Each business will have to know what personal data they hold, why they hold it, how they use it and store it and for how long and ensure the data they hold is accurate, Oh and they also have to ensure that the person whose data they hold is informed of all of this.

The good news is that those business which are addressing the challenges of GDPR, whether they are paper based or fully digitised, may be finding some unexpected benefits arising from the process.

A spring clean of the data banks reduces the amount of data being held. This will increase processing speeds not only on computer networks but also by saving time looking through files for those notes you know are there somewhere! Better still it reduces the costs of storage by freeing up computer space or saving on filing cabinets.

In addition, removing duplicated data reduces errors by ensuring your business is always using the most up to date data and helps ensure the data you are is using is accurate.

Reviewing how the data is processed may result in changes in how your business undertakes the steps involving the data with improvements in efficiency. This can be simple, such as ensuring the post goes directly to the desk of the person who needs it or more complicated, such as replacing numerous emails with exchanging data via a portal.

And if GDPR requires you to contact people you haven’t been in touch with for a while this may lead to business opportunities – unless of course the request to renew the contact is choking their inbox!

So start your business GDPR implementation plan, avoid the queasy feeling and the sleepless nights and find out what good news there might be for your business.