GDPR – blessing or hindrance?

The Internet. For decades it’s been the connectivity medium of choice. It gives the world a chance to communicate, from businesses communicating with their customers to developing countries participating in a global community. It has a huge impact on the business world.

The Internet is also the repository for masses of data about us as individuals. Although we think of it as an anonymous place, the reality is that our movements, habits, likes and dislikes are there for all to see. Sophisticated tracking cookies, high end trending programmes and sophisticated analytics tools are used to monitor and analyse our behaviour – often without our knowledge.

Owning personal information and what happens to it

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018 and seeks to redress the balance. It aims to put us in charge of our own data and make us responsible for where our data ends up, who is using it, and how it will be used. Consent is reinforced. We will need to give our explicit consent for data use, and those who want to control our data will have to be candid about what they intend to do with it. We have the power to maintain control.

How does this affect businesses?

The interesting thing about GDPR is that there is really nothing new in what it aspires to impose, because the existing Data Protection Act and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations cover much of the same ground. So, is there any noticeable impact on a business?

Ultimately, the answer comes down to how well you have adhered to current regulations. If a business has done very little work regarding regulations and its own data estate, then the impact on the business will certainly be noticeable. It obviously takes more work to start properly protecting a data estate than to build on existing security plans.

Exponential-e and data regulations

At Exponential-e, we have prided ourselves in maintaining a comprehensive list of accreditations which ensure we are able to adhere to the current regulations, and which provide a lot of groundwork for the process of aligning to GDPR.

As a Service Provider, it’s critical for us to be able to offer our customers services that allow them to remain in control of the data that they transmit via our networks or store, and use in our data centres. We must be able to assure our customers that we will protect all personally identifiable data and that we adhere to GDPR in our activities and in contract. It is essential that we maintain our standards so as not to be the weak link in our customers’ security armour.

We want our customers to be protected in their dealings with us and protected from the current threats, whilst being confident in adhering to the regulations and accreditations necessary for them to function effectively.

GDPR is a blessing for all of us who want better control of how our data is used and managed by organisations. Whilst for many companies, it will pose some challenges, they key will lie in GDPR readiness over the coming months.

Exponential-e is providing GDPR-readiness audits. For an initial discussion, contact us.

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