Business

Meet the GDPR team

BUSINESS OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED

together
Daniel Milnes

Daniel Milnes

Partner, Head of Governance, Procurement & Information

Governance, Procurement & Information

PinLancashire

Call01254 222313

Bethany Paliga

Bethany Paliga

Senior Associate

Governance, Procurement & Information

PinLancashire

Call01254 222347

 

FAQs

What are the consequences of not complying with the GDPR?
 
 

The consequences of failing to comply with the GDPR are serious. Organisations can be fined up to a maximum of 20 million Euros or 4% of the total annual worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. In addition, individuals have the right to claim compensation if they suffer distress or loss as a result of a breach of the GDPR.

Do we need a DPO?
 
 

The GDPR requires an organisation to appoint a DPO if it is a public authority, carries regular and systematic monitoring of individuals on a large scale or if it processes special categories of personal data on a large scale. However, you can decide to appoint a DPO in order to assist in your organisation's ability to comply with the GDPR even if you are not legally obliged to do so.

What documents do we need to be GDPR compliant?
 
 

The GDPR places an emphasis on an organisation's accountability for how it uses personal information. This means that you will need to demonstrate that you are GDPR compliant by ensuring a culture of data protection throughout your organisation. This includes having appropriate measures and records in place to demonstrate your compliance. This may include a data protection policy, data breach policy and procedure, subject access policy and procedure, data retention policy, record of processing activity, privacy notices and contractual arrangements with suppliers to ensure GDPR compliance. More or less documentation may be required depending on the nature of your organisation.

Do we need to keep a record of processing activity?
 
 

Most organisations are required to maintain a record of their processing activities, covering areas such as the reasons why they are processing personal data, data sharing and how long information is kept for. If organisations have less than 250 employees, they will be exempt from the requirement to keep a record of processing activity unless their processing activities are risky, frequent or include special categories of personal data. As employers, the information organisations obtain from employees often contains special categories of personal data and therefore it will be rare that an organisation can rely on this exemption. Therefore, most organisations will be required to keep a record of processing activity.

Does every single breach of the GDPR need to be reported?
 
 

It is mandatory to report a personal data breach under the GDPR to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if it's likely to result in a risk to individual's rights and freedoms. Therefore, if the data breach poses a risk to an individual (e.g. risk of discrimination, damage to reputation, financial loss, or any other significant economic or social disadvantage) then the data breach should be reported to the ICO within 72 hours.

Can we carry on using existing consents obtained under the Data Protection Act 1998?
 
 

The GDPR does not require organisations to automatically refresh any existing consents. However, the GDPR does make it clear that if you want to rely on consent obtained pre-GDPR (under the Data Protection Act 1998) the consents must meet the GDPR standard (e.g. affirmative, opted-in consent). If the consent does not meet the GDPR higher standard or the consents are poorly documented members will need to seek fresh GDPR compliant consent in order to comply with the GDPR.

Is business to business marketing affected?
 
 

The rules on consent and marketing do not apply to 'corporate subscribers' (e.g. companies, LLPs, and government bodies). The GDPR only applies to living individuals and therefore a company does not fall within this definition. However, the definition of 'corporate subscribers' does not include sole traders. Sole traders will have the same protection as individuals under the GDPR. In addition, it should be noted that individuals working for a company are protected under the GDPR. Therefore, if marketing correspondence is being sent to a personal corporate email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@org.co.uk) rather than a generic company email address (e.g. info@org.co.uk), that individual will have data protection rights under the GDPR and have the right to stop any marketing being sent to that type of email address.

How long do consents last?
 
 

The GDPR does not set a specific time limit for consent. It will degrade over time and it certainly does not last forever. Organisations will need to keep consents under review and consider refreshing consents at user-friendly intervals.

What are the consequences of not complying with the GDPR?
 
 

The consequences of failing to comply with the GDPR are serious. Organisations can be fined up to a maximum of 20 million Euros or 4% of the total annual worldwide turnover in the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. In addition, individuals have the right to claim compensation if they suffer distress or loss as a result of a breach of the GDPR.

Do we need a DPO?
 
 

The GDPR requires an organisation to appoint a DPO if it is a public authority, carries regular and systematic monitoring of individuals on a large scale or if it processes special categories of personal data on a large scale. However, you can decide to appoint a DPO in order to assist in your organisation's ability to comply with the GDPR even if you are not legally obliged to do so.

Can we tell staff that a member of staff has contracted coronavirus?
 
 

Yes - data protection is not a barrier to protecting the health and safety of your staff. The fact that a member of staff has contracted coronavirus is special category data for the purposes of data protection law. Your legal basis to process this personal information may include that it is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation, such as your health and safety obligations, or where processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of an individual. You may not need to name the individual, it may be sufficient to inform staff which office or location the member of staff was based.

How can we maintain data protection compliance whilst staff are working from home?
 
 

Many organisations will have a significant, if not entire, proportion of their workforce working remotely. Whilst staff work remotely, organisations still have legal obligations to ensure technical and organisational measures are in place to keep personal information secure. We recommend reviewing all your remote working policies, provide training on your remote working policies to those members of staff who do not usually work remotely, raise awareness of the importance of data protection - in particular of the risk of handling paper documents outside the office, the risk of theft of personal devices and the importance of encrypting emails containing confidential or sensitive information and remind staff of your data breach procedure and the importance of reporting breaches to your employer.

What documents do we need to be GDPR compliant?
 
 

The GDPR places an emphasis on an organisation's accountability for how it uses personal information. This means that you will need to demonstrate that you are GDPR compliant by ensuring a culture of data protection throughout your organisation. This includes having appropriate measures and records in place to demonstrate your compliance. This may include a data protection policy, data breach policy and procedure, subject access policy and procedure, data retention policy, record of processing activity, privacy notices and contractual arrangements with suppliers to ensure GDPR compliance. More or less documentation may be required depending on the nature of your organisation.

Do we need to keep a record of processing activity?
 
 

Most organisations are required to maintain a record of their processing activities, covering areas such as the reasons why they are processing personal data, data sharing and how long information is kept for. If organisations have less than 250 employees, they will be exempt from the requirement to keep a record of processing activity unless their processing activities are risky, frequent or include special categories of personal data. As employers, the information organisations obtain from employees often contains special categories of personal data and therefore it will be rare that an organisation can rely on this exemption. Therefore, most organisations will be required to keep a record of processing activity.

Is it safe to allow staff to access our systems from their own personal devices?
 
 

As there is now a significant proportion of the workforce working remotely, many organisations are permitting staff to work remotely on their own personal devices (commonly known as 'Bring Your Own Device' or BYOD). Organisations should consider how staff are to access the organisation's network while working remotely. Whether access to data should be restricted via a specific app or the use of encrypted email protocols should be considered by organisations. Also, accessing the organisation's network via an unsecure "coffee house" network could increase the risk of data being lost. Therefore, use of a secure VPN when not connected to the organisation's network should be a fundamental requirement. We recommend reviewing your BYOD policy and consider what training staff need to enable business continuity whilst ensuring personal information remains secure.

Does every single breach of the GDPR need to be reported?
 
 

It is mandatory to report a personal data breach under the GDPR to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if it's likely to result in a risk to individual's rights and freedoms. Therefore, if the data breach poses a risk to an individual (e.g. risk of discrimination, damage to reputation, financial loss, or any other significant economic or social disadvantage) then the data breach should be reported to the ICO within 72 hours.

Can we carry on using existing consents obtained under the Data Protection Act 1998?
 
 

The GDPR does not require organisations to automatically refresh any existing consents. However, the GDPR does make it clear that if you want to rely on consent obtained pre-GDPR (under the Data Protection Act 1998) the consents must meet the GDPR standard (e.g. affirmative, opted-in consent). If the consent does not meet the GDPR higher standard or the consents are poorly documented members will need to seek fresh GDPR compliant consent in order to comply with the GDPR.

Is business to business marketing affected?
 
 

The rules on consent and marketing do not apply to 'corporate subscribers' (e.g. companies, LLPs, and government bodies). The GDPR only applies to living individuals and therefore a company does not fall within this definition. However, the definition of 'corporate subscribers' does not include sole traders. Sole traders will have the same protection as individuals under the GDPR. In addition, it should be noted that individuals working for a company are protected under the GDPR. Therefore, if marketing correspondence is being sent to a personal corporate email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@org.co.uk) rather than a generic company email address (e.g. info@org.co.uk), that individual will have data protection rights under the GDPR and have the right to stop any marketing being sent to that type of email address.

How long do consents last?
 
 

The GDPR does not set a specific time limit for consent. It will degrade over time and it certainly does not last forever. Organisations will need to keep consents under review and consider refreshing consents at user-friendly intervals.

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