General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and PFP

technicalsupport Apr 13th, 2018

In May this year, Europe's data protection rules will undergo their biggest changes in two decades. Since they were created in the 90s, the amount of digital information we create, capture, and store has vastly increased. Simply put, the old regime is no longer fit for purpose.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply from 25th May 2018, when it supersedes the UK Data Protection Act 1998. Significant and wide-reaching in scope, the new law brings a 21st century approach to data protection. It expands the rights of individuals to control how their personal information is collected and processed, and places a range of new obligations on organisations to be more accountable for data protection.

It also provides for much tougher punishment for those who fail to comply with it.

The GDPR applies to “data controllers” and “data processors”. The definitions are broadly the same as under the existing Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), i.e. the controller says how and why personal data is processed and the processor acts on the controller’s behalf. You are likely to be a controller where you process your customer’s personal data, e.g. the data you collect and record in your client file.

Under the GDPR, the data protection principles set out the main responsibilities for organisations.

Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data shall be:

  1. processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;
  2. collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;
  3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
  4. accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that is inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, is erased or rectified without delay;
  5. kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data is processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and
  6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.”

Article 5(2) requires that:

‘the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles.’

The Information Commissioner’s Office has a dedicated website on GDPR for businesses, which includes:

  • GDPR overview;
  • Preparing for GDPR: 12 steps to take now; ans
  • Getting ready for GDPR: checklist.