Your new year GDPR workout with ICO

GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation – is coming, and planning for it is key. In essence, GDPR is similar to the Data Protection Act. Organisations that operate not just to the spirit of the Data Protection Act but also the letter are in a good place to build on existing policies and processes to successfully adopt the requirements of GDPR. The new legislation is more rigorous and does require a step change in the processes around the management of data.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has put together a 12 point guide to preparing for and delivering on GDPR as of 25th May 2018. The headlines from the guide are outlined below; however it is important to read the ICO guide in full and prepare effectively.

So, the headline challenges:

  1. Awareness: You should make sure that decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have.
  2. Information you hold: You should document what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit across the organisation or within particular business areas. GDPR requires you to maintain records of your processing activities.
  3. Communicating privacy information: You should review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place to make any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation. Under GDPR there are some additional things you will have to tell people. For example, you will need to explain your lawful basis for processing the data.
  4. Individuals’ rights: You should check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have, including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format.
  5. Subject access requests: You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests to take account of the new rules. If your organisation handles a large number of access requests, consider the logistical implications.
  6. Lawful basis for processing personal data: You should identify the lawful basis for your processing activity in GDPR, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it. Many organisations will not have thought about their lawful basis for processing personal data. You will also have to explain your lawful basis for processing personal data in your privacy notice.
  7. Consent: You should review how you seek, record and manage consent and whether you need to make any changes. Refresh existing consents now. There must be a positive opt-in – consent cannot be inferred, pre-ticked boxes etc.
  8. Children: You should start thinking now about whether you need to put systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent for any data processing activity.
  9. Data breaches: You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach. GDPR introduces a duty on all organisations to report certain types of data breach to the ICO, and in some cases, to individuals.
  10. Data protection by design: GDPR makes privacy by design an express legal requirement, under the term 'data protection by design and by default'. It also makes PIAs – referred to as 'Data Protection Impact Assessments' or DPIAs – mandatory in certain circumstances.
  11. Data protection officer: You should designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance. You should consider whether you are required to formally designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO). It is most important that someone in your organisation, takes responsibility for your data protection compliance. 
  12. International: If your organisation operates in more than one EU member state, you should determine your lead data protection supervisory authority and document this. The lead authority is the supervisory authority in the state where your main establishment is.

Please also read this important information: Information Commissioners Office 12 Point Guide to Preparing for GDPR (PDF)

For further information, contact Headland and we can help you clear the hurdles and jump through the hoops in time for GDPR.

16 January 2018