GDPR: What is it and why is it important?
November 16, 2017
November 16, 2017
The GDPR is Europe’s new framework for data protection laws – it replaces the previous 1995 data protection directive, which current UK law is based upon.
It introduces tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches and gives people more say over what companies can do with their data. It also makes data protection rules more or less identical throughout the EU.
Why was GDPR drafted in the first place?
There are two key drivers behind GDPR. Firstly, the EU wants to give people more control over how their personal data is used, bearing in mind that many companies like Facebook and Google swap access to people’s data for use of their services. The current Data Protection Act was enacted before the internet and cloud technology created new ways of exploiting data, and the GDPR seeks to address that. By strengthening data protection legislation and introducing tougher enforcement measures, the EU hopes to improve trust in the emerging digital economy.
Secondly, the EU wants to give businesses a simpler, clearer legal environment in which to operate, making data protection law identical throughout the single market (the EU estimates this will save businesses a collective €2.3 billion a year).
When will it apply?
GDPR will apply to all EU member states from 25th May 2018.
Who does it apply to?
‘Controllers’ and ‘processors’ of data need to abide by the GDPR. A data controller states how and why personal data is processed, while a processor is the party doing the actual processing of the data. So the controller could be any organisation, from a profit-seeking company to a charity or government. A processor could be an IT firm doing the actual data processing.
Even if controllers and processors are based outside the EU, the GDPR will still apply to them so long as they’re dealing with data belonging to EU residents.
It’s the controller’s responsibility to ensure their processor abides by data protection law and processors must themselves abide by rules to maintain records of their processing activities. If processors are involved in a data breach, they are far more liable under GDPR than they were under the Data Protection Act.
How can Cyber Essentials help with GDPR?
Whilst your organisation will require more than just Cyber Essentials to comply with GDPR, it is a step in the right direction. Cyber Essentials certification is evidence that you have taken steps towards protecting your organisation and its data from cyber attacks.
If you have any questions about GDPR and Cyber Security or just want to have a chat, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org