The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are as essential for organisations to focus on as the impacts of Brexit, according to Chris Combemale, CEO of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). He was speaking at today’s Data Protection Update 2016 conference in London.
The final text of the GDPR was approved by the EU Parliament in April 2016 after seven years of discussion, making clear an organisation’s responsibilities when collecting and using customer data. It comes into force in May 2018.
“Brexit does not change the need for UK businesses to prepare for GDPR. Firstly, it looks likely that the UK will still be a member of the EU when the new rules come into force and as such companies will need to be compliant for at least the period of until the formal Brexit happens.
“Second, even-post-Brexit if a UK company has a single customer in Europe they will need to adhere to the new legislation. Finally, any trade deal that is negotiated will require an equivalent level of data protection in the UK. If you want to see how seriously the EU takes the topic of data protection with non-member states, you need look no further than its approach and negotiations with the US on Privacy Shield.”
The conference includes keynotes from people.io founder Nicholas Oliver, the ICO’s policy delivery group manager Iain Bourne and the chief privacy officer at John Lewis, Steve Wright. In addition, there will be speakers from Barclays, Cancer Research, dotmailer, Experian Data Quality, Governor Technology, L’Oréal, Millward Brown, Opt-4, Privacy Laws and Business, Proximity London and Sky.
Cancer Research UK, which this year committed to an opt-in policy for its fundraising telephone and mail communications, will take part in a panel session on “Everything you need to know about Consent and Legitimate Interest”.
Combemale emphasised the importance of transparency in handling customers’ and donors’ data.
“At its heart, the new regulations insist on greater transparency, clarity and honest about what businesses do with customer’s data. This emphasis on putting the customer first reflects clearly what we’ve heard consumers and the brands that get this right will build the trust they need to succeed. While those that fail to address the issue of data in an open and transparent way will simply now endure.”
Image: data and information padlocks on Shutterstock.com
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