Are you aware of the GDPR?

8th January 2018

In a year when Making Tax Digital (MTD) has dominated the agenda, another key piece of legislation has crept through the back door with much less fanfare. 

Unlike MTD, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is on schedule to come into force in the spring – but what do we need to know about it?

What is GDPR?

The GDPR is considered to be the biggest shake-up in the history of data protection.

It aims to raise standards for security, privacy rights and compliance in relation to keeping your clients’ information safe and secure from the threats posed online. 

The GDPR is an EU directive and intends to “harmonise ” data privacy laws across Europe, including the Data Protection Act (1998) here in the UK. 

It may not sound like too big a deal but it will demand more accountability in terms of how you hold clients’ data – specifically how you use it, interact with it and store it. 

When does it take effect?

The GDPR will apply to all organisations in the EU from Friday 25 May 2018. 

What about Brexit?

If you sell goods or services to citizens of any nation in the EU you will need to comply, irrespective of Brexit. 

There is no indication the government will rewrite or amend this piece of legislation after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. 

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

Sanctions of £20 million or 4% of your annual turnover, whichever is higher, are in place for non-compliance. 

However, as is often the case with new legislation, there is no precedent to base future sanctions on. 

The potential punishments are at the discretion of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s independent authority created to uphold information rights in the public interest. 

The ICO states that fines under the GDPR will be necessary, proportionate, and only ever applied as a last resort.

Get in touch 

The GDPR is something all businesses need to be aware of. 

While we do not offer specific advice on GDPR, you can call us on 0117 973 3377 or email to speak to an adviser on a range of other issues.