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Information Commissioner’s blog series aims to ‘debunk myths’ on GDPR

Information Commissioner’s blog series aims to ‘debunk myths’ on GDPR

The ’s Office is running a series of blogs to ‘bust some of the myths’ around the incoming .

The third in the series was published at the end of August and tackled the ‘myth’ that GDPR is an unnecessary burden on organisations. Written by Steve Wood, the ICO’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy, he argues that the GDPR is an evolution in data protection rather than ‘an onerous imposition of unnecessary and costly red tape’, and points to where criticism on GDPR has focused on its perceived impact on smaller organisations, saying that rather size being relevant, what matters is good information management and building trust.

The blog post follows the first two posts, written by Elizabeth Denham and published earlier last month, and explaining firstly the Information Commissioner’s new fining powers with the second looking at the issue of consent. Others will follow on guidance, the burden on business and breach reporting.

On fines, Denham warned against ‘scaremongering’ saying that the ICO will not be making early examples of organisations for minor infringements or that maximum fines will become the norm. “The ICO’s commitment to guiding, advising and educating organisations about how to comply with the law will not change under the GDPR. We have always preferred the carrot to the stick.”

In her blog on consent, Denham wrote that consent is not a ‘silver bullet’ for the GDPR, pointing to the different lawful bases businesses and organisations will have for processing personal information under the GDPR in addition to consent, including legitimate interests, and urging organisations not to wait for the ICO’s final guidance on consent before beginning preparations.

In her first blog, Denham says:

“Before the new law comes into effect on 25 May 2018, I feel bound to sort the fact from the fiction.

“Because there is a lot of misinformation out there and for many who are new to data protection and the GDPR it’s creating uncertainty.  Organisations that want to get it right – and we know that’s the majority – can sometimes feel like rabbits in the headlights, not knowing which way to leap.”

All posts are available to read on the Information Commissioner’s blog.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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