Managing GDPR After the Consultants Leave the Building

Peter Shields
Peter Shields

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Aberdeen based BusinessPort, which specialises in Process Management and Compliance software, is launching a new product aimed at managing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

With an impressive client list that contains Babcock including use at Royal Naval Bases, Siemens plus many within the oil & gas industry, the company’s latest solution simplifies ongoing administration of the regulation.

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Most of us have enjoyed free services from the likes of Facebook, Google, and Twitter for the exchange of personal information ranging from common elements such as name or email address to more sensitive details like political alignment and sexual orientation.

The public assumed, based on the experience of paper systems, that their personal data was protected with limited access. However over the past couple years, several large scale data breaches including the recent news of the illegal harvesting of personal data during the US elections in support of Donald Trump have brought the severity of the subject into sharp focus. As reported in The Observer newspaper, 50 million users’ profiles were extracted from Facebook and used by UK based Cambridge Analytica to influence voters during the US elections through targeted marketing campaigns.

The `wild west` behaviour of companies has alerted governments to the need for regulation on how businesses protect the personal data they are given and ensuring that only required information is gathered, used and deleted. While there are some who consider we have crossed the Rubicon with setting restrictive standards for data protection, GDPR may well be recognised in the future as the international foundation of more structured law regarding Data Protection.

Heavy fines can be given out to organisations for using data without consent and it is now easier for individuals to discover what information organisations have stored on them. In essence, GDPR seeks to bring more transparency and rights to the people about their specific data and provide standard guidelines across the EU, including the UK even after BREXIT.

For those companies who have developed the policies and processes required to comply with GDPR, the phrase “a dog is not just for Christmas”, springs to mind as once the consultants leave the building or the project team disbands, the task of maintaining the regulation can be arduous and time-consuming.

The ongoing management of GDPR requires many administrative tasks such as updating spreadsheets, addressing emails and answering requests within agreed timeframes. As these activities are likely to be sporadic in nature, they will tie-up internal resources who have other ‘day job’ responsibilities, the Agility GDPR software centralises all actions necessary to control activities and provides the capability to map, visualise and manage the processing of personal data efficiently.

BusinessPort MD Peter Shields said,” By using our extensive experience within the compliance arena, the Agility GDPR solution is aimed at reducing the effort needed to achieve continual compliance to the regulation while providing the assurance that its requirements are being constantly met”.

With recent studies showing that as many as 75% of SME’s are still unaware of their responsibilities with the regulation, compliance to GDPR is now a fundamental element of business today and is the first major step that will change the habits of the business world to protect people’s rights and their data.

Centralising all GDPR policies, processes, evidence of actions and performance will provide a solid foundation to reduce the burden of ongoing compliance.

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