After more than three years of discussion, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) framework will replace the 1998 Data Protection Act. It comes into effect on the 25th of May, 2018, and non-compliance can lead to significant consequences! Depending on the infringement, there might be monetary penalties from 2% up to 4% of a company's annual turnover.

The primary intent of the GDPR is to give individuals more control over their data, impose stricter rules on companies handling it, and ensure companies embrace new technology to process and protect the data produced.

Hiscox, our current insurance provider, has compiled 11 tips to help you prepare for the new data protection rules.

But in a nutshell, here are the significant changes that are mentioned in this new legislation:

Consent - Consent of personal data must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous. Support is not freely given if a person cannot freely refuse consent without detriment.

Accountability and privacy by default - The GDPR has emphasised the responsibility of data controllers to demonstrate data compliance. They must maintain specific documentation, conduct impact assessment reports for riskier processing and employ data protection practices.

Notification of a data breach - Data controllers must notify the Data Protection Authorities as quickly as possible, where applicable, within 72 hours of the data breach discovery.

Role of data processors - Data processors will now have direct obligations to implement technical and organisation measures to ensure data protection; this could include appointing a Data Protection Officer if needed.

Right to be forgotten - This change is among the most valuable changes for the average person managing their data protection risks. People can require their data to be deleted when there is no legitimate reason for an organisation to retain it. Following this is requested, the organisation must also take appropriate steps to inform any third party with links or copies of the data and ask them to delete it.

When it comes to data protection compliance, there's a lot to think about. The GDPR introduces new responsibilities on organisations that process data on their customers' behalf and require rollers to ensure their processors are GDPR compliant.

In addition to the above clauses, our customers should review the process of making a website GDPR compliant and recommend specific changes. A common breach is a form that invites users to subscribe to newsletters or indicate contact preferences with a 'tick-box' pre-selected. With the new regulations, this must default to 'no' or be blank. Existing clients will need to check forms to ensure this is the case. Automatic "opt-in" will now see you in breach of GDPR.

Finally, we have uploaded a guide that Hiscox produced, which further explains GDPR and what you can do to ensure compliance. Hiscox Guide to GDPR.