Welcome to the step-by-step video tutorial on complying with data protection law – a part of Farillio's video series designed to make law simpler, faster, better and more affordable for small businesses.
All the materials we’ll be discussing in the following series of videos are available via your Farillio account, and if you'd like to chat to one of our experts, like Helen, directly, you're welcome to use our Speak To A Lawyer feature.
You may have already watched our companion series with Dale Clutterbuck – looking at how you manage the data that flows in and out of your business, including the data you collect from other people and the intellectual property we create ourselves.
This tutorial builds on that foundation, with the help of Helen Smart of Wilkes – our expert when it comes to the law around data protection. So, having learnt to map and audit our data with Dale, it’s time now to look at what it takes to be legally compliant.
Both of these contain a lot of the considerations and decisions you'll make about how you handle not just data – but also your compliance with the data protection laws.
How important is data protection law?
The good news is that once you’ve done the data-mapping exercise on your business and your legal documentation is in place, you won’t have to go through this process again. You only need to update it every so often to make sure you’re accommodating any changes in the law or in your business as it evolves.
Data mapping – i.e. understanding where your data is – is really important to get a handle on what data you hold and making sure that it’s all kept confidential and secure.
Everyone from investors to large-scale partners and the rock star talent you want to work with will look at how you’re managing their data and how you’re organising your business.
If you’re on top of your data and you’ve got the systems and processes in place to show that, that’s a great indicator of how ship-shape your business is.
The other challenge – especially since the changes in the law regarding data protection – is knowing what data you’ve got coming in and how you’re handling it, so you don’t overlook anything when it comes to documenting data and making yourself fully compliant.
Handling of data by businesses - the 411
There’s a fair amount of law surrounding the handling of people’s personal data by businesses.
The biggest one most of us will have heard of is known as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which was introduced in May 2018 under the Data Protection Act 2018 in the UK.
There’s also the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations – these are the rules around marketing and, in particular, they cover the circumstances where you can and where you can't market to people.
Furthermore, there are many other laws around surveillance and monitoring of people, and there are different rules regarding consumers and other businesses – and you need to take all of these into consideration too.
Sometimes it’s hard to think of businesses having personal data, but they absolutely do handle it on a constant basis in one way or another.
What about Brexit?
How Brexit could affect what we do with our data and our legal obligations depends entirely upon how the UK ends up leaving the EU.
In terms of UK businesses transferring data to the EU, that’s unlikely to be a problem. But for EU companies sending data to the UK, things could begin to get tricky.
Under the GDPR, all EU countries are deemed safe places to send data, but when the UK is no longer in the EU – we may no longer be regarded as a safe state. Thus, businesses in the EU will be restricted from sending data to UK businesses until extra safeguards can be arranged.
This is a particular cause for concern for the many businesses that keep data on servers housed in the E.U. and the wider European Economic Area (EEA).
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