In mid-July, we teamed up with law firm Spearing Waite to give a presentation to local businesses on how the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law will affect companies who do business in the UK.
GDPR will be coming into force on 25th May 2018. With less than a year to go, becoming compliant in time will be a huge task for many businesses. This is especially true for those who have yet to draw up plans on how they will properly manage the huge amounts of personal data they already hold. A key part of GDPR focuses around changing rules over consent, and without the explicit agreement of an individual to deliver messages to them, companies will be breaching this new law.
With many unsure of what their next steps should be, the aim of the seminar was to help businesses understand key aspects of GDPR, what it means for them and how they can take action now to ensure they’re compliant in time.
Ian offered practical advice to attendees from a marketing perspective and covered the key points to consider. “GDPR has gone under the radar for many businesses since it was announced and has a potentially huge impact on marketing. Whilst achieving compliance is undoubtedly daunting for many, achieving this can lead to more relevant communication and a happier audience, so we’ve been keen to promote the benefits too.”
Ian Thomson, head of commercial at Spearing Waite, was on hand to explain what this all means in legal terms. He discussed the implications of GDPR, plus the risks to businesses of being non-compliant and the penalties they could incur.
We wrapped up the seminar with a questions and answers session to clear up any initial queries around GDPR. The team were flooded with questions and were able to offer helpful advice and answers on everything from whether Brexit will affect the law, to exactly what “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous” consent means. The session was a great success, and many of those who attended said how helpful and eye opening it had been.
For businesses, the first step towards GDPR compliance will be a thorough review of the existing data held and the consent that has been provided. We’ll be sharing a GDPR audit checklist to help take these first steps towards compliance over the coming weeks.