With the 25th May deadline fast approaching, Kirsty Davey of the Corporate and Commercial team at Coodes Solicitors explains why business owners can no longer afford to ignore GDPR.
1. The deadline is looming (but there’s still time to get it right)
GDPR is coming into force on 25th May. Whether you are a sole trader, with just a few customer email addresses on file, or a global corporation holding reams of personal data, you need to be ready. It’s really not as scary as it sounds. Although the deadline is fast approaching, there is still time to ensure that your business meets the new regulations.
2. It’s not as difficult as you might think
One of the reasons business owners might be putting off tackling GDPR is that it seems complicated. In fact, the most important thing to do now is simply to take a long hard look at your own data handling processes. This will help you to understand how your company holds and manages personal information on customers, suppliers, employees and business referrers. You will probably find you are doing plenty of things right so you may not need to make many changes. Ask yourself the following questions:
- WHY does your business process data? What personal information do you need to hold and for what purpose?
- HOW does your business process data? Does everyone manage data in the same way across the business?
- WHO internally and externally manages data? Do you know who currently has access to any data you hold?
- WHAT data do you hold? List what information you hold about staff, suppliers, and existing and potential customers – this could include names, email addresses or background checks.
3. Missing the deadline could cost you much more than money
You have probably seen the headlines about the fines you could face if you fail to comply with GDPR. In reality, the bigger problem may be the impact that a breach has on your reputation and loss of business.
4. You risk losing your customers’ trust if you fail to comply
Complying with GDPR means storing and managing data legally but it is really about ensuring the privacy of all those whose data you have on file. Your customers are likely to express concern about how you are handling their data, so think about what you need to do to reassure them.
5. It may actually make your business more efficient
A benefit of GDPR that you may not have considered is that it could help your business to run more efficiently. Whether you are sending out a newsletter or renewing contracts, knowing what data you hold and how you can use it should make communications easier and more efficient. While there will inevitably be work to do to get ready for the changes, your efforts now should save time in the future.
For any help or advice around the new GDPR, please contact Kirsty Davey in the Corporate and Commercial team at Coodes Solicitors on 01326 214034 or email@example.com. You can also download our GDPR pdf for businesses.