As you might imagine, I spend quite a lot of time looking at websites. I look at client sites to see what can be improved, I look at potential client sites to put bids and proposals together and I look for sites that I can prospect to. I also look at other sites to keep my knowledge up to date – and that’s just during the working day.
I see good sites, OK sites, indifferent sites and some real shockers but it does not matter how good (or how poor) the site, whether pennies, pounds or thousands was spent on the development loads miss out on the provision of basic information. A lot of which is a legal requirement when a business is using a website to promote themselves.
As an example, a lot of businesses provide a web form as a means of communication despite the fact that a lot of people don’t like forms – especially ones that ask for too much information. Part of the dislike is due to the fact that sending a form leaves no record of what was sent, nor when it was sent, unless it automatically forwards a copy to the senders email address but there’s no way to know this – until you’ve sent the form (unless the form actually informs you of this)
There was a piece of legislation passed in 2002 called the eCommerce Regulations that applied to ALL companies using the internet, not just those selling online and perhaps that’s why a lot of businesses don’t comply. Either that or it’s simply a lack of knowledge either within the organisation or by the web developer. Either way, ignorance of the law is no excuse – as the law says.
So, what does the law require you to publish in an “easily, permanently and directly available location” on your website?
Minimum information to be provided on your website
The name of your business, which might be different from the trading name and any difference MUST be explained. For example, ABC.co, is the trading name of ABC Enterprises Ltd.
The geographic address of the business must be provided
Your email address. A “Contact us” form without providing an email address is not sufficient
Your Company Registration Number, if yours is a Registered business, together with the place of registration
Your VAT Registration Number, if you are VAT registered
If you are subject to an overseeing body, such as the FCA, then you need to provide the governing agency AND your registration number.
Prices – if you are quoting prices (or selling) online your pricing should be clear, unambiguous and state whether prices are inclusive of tax and delivery costs, or not.
If you need help with compliance, or with anything else relating to your website or marketing activities then give me a call for an initial, free and zero obligation chat on 01793 238020 or email email@example.com
When “M” has finished spymastering for the day, or pops out for a cheeky Nandos, we always see M locking the “Top Secret” files away in the office safe. We know that’s so that no secrets will be discovered, even if an enemy spy (or the tea person) manages to gain access to the empty office.
In business, we need to be like “M”.
In a previous post I looked at Data Protection and the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). However, I didn’t make it clear that the regulations don’t just apply to digital data stored on your IT systems and network but also apply to paper records too.
Anything that contains personal data, whether paper or digital, falls under the auspices of the Act, including the recordings from your CCTV cameras, phone systems (think “this call may be recorded for training purposes”) and biometric data – such as fingerprint or iris recognition systems used to unlock systems or grant access.
This means the files on your desk, the files in your filing cabinet, your paper archives as well as your electronic records, anything that includes personal data.
To start with, you need to ask yourself
Who has overall responsibility for the data you have and/or use?
What data are you holding, why are you holding it and where is it held?
Are your Privacy and Data Use Policies as good as they need to be?
How long do you need to keep data & how will you securely destroy it when you no longer need to keep it?
Who has legitimate access to it and who else can access it?
How secure is your building, your paper records and IT systems?
What happens out of normal business hours?
Can data be exported and removed without authorisation (to a USB key for example)?
Is your network connected to the internet and how secure is your connection?
Can your network be accessed remotely – is this secure?
Is your electronic data encrypted so, in the event of a breach, data cannot be accessed and used?
Can your network prevent unauthorised intrusion (hacking)?
How do you manage Subject Access Requests, (when someone requests to see the data you hold about them)?
How will you manage a data breach, whether it’s a hack, unauthorised file copy or unauthorised removal of paper records?
So, how can I help?
I can put you in touch with reliable IT companies and trusted partners
that will be able to inventory all of your IT and data assets.
who’ll test your network to see how secure it is and whether hackers are likely to be able to gain access
who will secure your network from external threats (hacking) and ensure that your remote access requirements are reliable, easy to use and secure.
who will help you secure your data inside the organisation and set things up so that only appropriately authorised employees can access the data they need to do their job and no more.
who will secure your network so that it’s almost impossible for data to be copied onto a USB key or external hard drive and removed from the organisation
who will put transparent encryption in place which means that it doesn’t slow anything down but is so strong that only GCHQ or the NSA would be likely to crack it.
Take the first step now, by giving me a call on 01793 238020 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how I can help mitigate data security risks and start preparing for GDPR guidelines.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the name given to the new law that will come into effect on 25 May 2018 to provide added protection and security to the data that businesses hold on, and about, individuals. It will replace the UK’s Data Protection Act (DPA).
At the end of this post you’ll find a simple glossary of terms for reference
Why do we need the GDPR?
There has been a huge change in the amount of data, and the way we use it, since the Data Protection Act came into effect 20 years ago.
Back then, a home PC was a rarity, now it’s pretty much the norm and households typically have multiple devices (PCs/laptops, phones, tablets, smart TVs and other internet connected devices) whilst the majority of businesses are totally reliant on IT and data.
As a consequence of these changes the laws relating to data needed updating and there was a strong drive to have common data protection laws across the EU due to the increased globalisation of business. Brexit will have no impact on the new regulations
What impact will the GDPR have on my business?
There will be a need to ensure that the way you collect, store, manage, use and destroy data is in compliance with the new regulations and there may be a requirement to employ new staff, outsource services or allocate new responsibilities to existing employees.
People & Accountability
DATA PROTECTION OFFICER
To comply with the new regulations you may need to allocate data protection responsibilities to employees or employ a new member of staff, depending on the size of your business and the data protection requirements placed on it. The following businesses MUST appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO)
Businesses whose core activities involve large scale systematic monitoring and profiling activities
Businesses whose core activities involve large scale processing of special categories of data such as ethnic origin, political opinions or religious beliefs
DPOs can be employed or outsourced but must report to the highest level of management.
Current law does not apply to pure data processors, i.e serviced providers who only deal with data as directed by their customer, only applying to data controllers. If you are a mailing house which accepts data from a client for producing mail shots (land mail or email) for example
GDPR introduces direct rules and accountabilities for data processors, including
Keeping records of data processed
Designating a Data Protection Office (where required)
Notifying the Data Controller where there has been a breach
Under GDPR, data controllers can only use data processors “providing sufficient guarantees to implement the appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and ensures the protection of the rights of data subjects”
Accountability and the GDPR
Accountability is all about considering risks and demonstrating that you have considered, and managed, data protection risks. You will need to have clear policies in place to show that you meet the required standards and should establish a culture of monitoring, reviewing and assessing your data processing procedures
Privacy Impact Assessments
Businesses will be required to carry out a data protection impact assessment where carrying out any processes that use new technology that is likely to result in a high risk to data subjects, required in particular where there will be automated processing (including profiling) and on which decisions which affect the data subject and for large scale processing of personal data
Privacy By Design
Businesses must take data protection requirements into account from the inception of any new technology, product, or service, that involves the processing of personal data, with an ongoing requirement to keep those measures up to date.
Notification of Breach
The existing DPA requires an organisation to notify (register and pay a fee) the ICO that they will be processing personal data. This will no longer be a requirement under the GDPR, replaced by an obligation on the Data Controller and Data Processor to maintain detailed documentation, recording;
Purpose of processing
Lists of data subjects
Categories of data
However, if you have fewer than 250 employees, the requirements are less onerous and you’ll only need to comply if your processing is “likely to result in high risk to individuals, the processing is not occasional, or includes sensitive personal data.
Because the processing of employee data is likely to involve sensitive personal data there will be an obligation on all organisations to maintain documentation, no matter what their size.
With the removal of registration and fee payment, the ICO loses their main source of income and this could make them keener to catch organisations in breach and fine them.
Under current legislation there is no requirement to notify the ICO should you suffer a data security breach. This changes under the GDPR with the introduction of a requirement to report data security breaches to
Data Controllers (if a Data Processor breaches)
Regulators – if a Data Controller breaches and the result is a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals – without undue delay (within 72 hours of discovery if feasible)
Affected Data Subjects – where the breach could leave them open to financial loss, for example. If the risk is high, this notification must be without undue delay.
When does the GDPR come in to law?
25 May 2018
Where will the GDPR apply?
Current data protection laws apply if you are located in the EU, or make use of equipment located in the EU, such as servers. The GDPR applies whether or not you are located in an EU country – it applies if you offer goods or services to EU residents or if you monitor their behavior.
If you want to transfer data beyond the EU (if you use a server based in the US to do your email marketing, for example) you need to ensure that the destination country has been recognised as having “adequate or equivalent” data protection regulations and you will have to ensure that suitable safeguards are in place to ensure the protection and security of the data you are transferring.
What happens if I don’t comply with the GDPR?
Currently, fines across the EU for a Data Protection Breach vary greatly with the UK having a maximum fine of £500,000 for a breach of the DPA.
One of the goals of the GDPR is to ensure that fines are consistent across national borders and to impose a significant increase in fines to emphasize the importance of good data management and security.
The new fines are to be split across two tiers
Up to 2% of annual, worldwide, turnover of the preceding financial year or EU10m (whichever is the greater) for violations relating to internal record keeping, data processor contracts, data security and breach notification, data protection officers and data protection by design and default
Up to 4% of annual, worldwide, turnover of the preceding financial year or EU20m (whichever is the greater) for violations relating to breaches of the data protection principles, conditions for consent, data subjects rights and international data transfers
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will also have increased enforcement powers and grounds for seeking judicial remedies under the GDPR, including a power to carry out audits and to require (demand) information to be provided and obtain access to premises
Practical Steps to prepare for the GDPR
Ensure that you have the resources to plan and implement GDPR requirements
Identify all existing data systems and the personal data processed
Review existing compliance programs and update/expand as required to meet the requirements of GDPR
Ensure you have clear records of all data processing activities and that the records are available
When using Data Processors, ensure you include terms in your agreement relating to immediate notification of any data breach.
Develop and implement a data breach response plan and have templated notifications so that staff can act promptly
Put internal reporting procedures in place, have an internal breach register and train staff on notification and use
Ensure that you have sufficient resources to implement required changes
Consider appointing a DPO
Assess whether the organisation uses consent to justify processing
Develop, and implement, a policy on data storage and retention
Review contractual arrangements with Data Processors
Consider Data Protection when developing new technologies, services and goods and keep clear records
Ensure all policies and procedures are available and written in clear, concise and easily understood language
Consider how you will gain consent for the use of the ata you hold, and use, for advertising, marketing and/or social media
Examine your Privacy notices now and start updating them
Review privacy notices and other “fair processing” information given to employees
Review employment contracts, handbooks and policies. Is contractual “consent” sought?
Ensure that you can respond to Subject Access Requests within 1 month (no admin fee will apply under GDPR)
Train staff on data protection responsibilities
The GDPR will have a wide reaching impact on most businesses, both large and small, which make use of data within the organisation.
Within the GDPR there are many undefined phrases, such as what counts as “large scale” and what is “new technology” and it is likely that these will only be determined as part of case law i.e. when a company is prosecuted for a suspected breach and their defence (or prosecution) need an accurate description of such terms.
It is likely that things will change as we get closer to implementation. However, you should start your preparation as soon as possible and the ICO has published a useful leaflet called “12 Steps to Take Now” which provides more helpful advice.
I’m a digital marketer and SEO professional, not a legal practice. As a consequence, this should be used as a guide to the GDPR and legal support sought to ensure that your business is in compliance.
Glossary of Data Protection and GDPR Terms
Consent – Permission to collect, store and use personal data
Data Controller – A person, or persons, determined the purposes for which, and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed
Data Portability – The ability to move data from organisation to organisation, or across nation states
DPA – Data Protection Act, the regulations that the GDPR replaces
Data Processor – Any person who processes data on behalf of the data controller
Data Protection Officer – Person responsible for the oversight of organisational data protection strategy and implementation to ensure compliance with the GDPR
Data subject – The person to whom a data set relates (you and I)
GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations. The name given to the new regulations relating to the way we collect, store, use and destroy data
ICO – Information Commissioner’s Office – body responsible for upholding GDPR
Personal Data – anything clearly seen as personal, including name, address, phone number but also including IP addresses, cookie identifiers and UDID (Unique device Identifiers). Expressions of opinion about an individual also count as personal data so you need to be careful what you say about colleagues or clients in emails
Right to be Forgotten – The right to request the complete deletion of all personal data.
Subject Access Request – A request that an individual can make to find out the data that an organisation has relating to them.
And if you are struggling with your GDPR then give me a call on 01793 238020 or email email@example.com and I’ll do everything I can do to help.