I’ve noticed a lot of comments surrounding the new GDPR legislation along the lines of ‘well we are leaving the EU, so why does it affect us’? It’s a good question, and it certainly got me thinking. I’ve done some research and discovered the low-down of how GDPR affects us in the UK with Brexit looming.
Lets quickly recap - what is GDPR?
GDPR is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. It’s the result of four years hard work by members of the EU and updates data protection legislation. Data is currently being used in numerous ways, and the new legislation aims to stop companies from misusing customer data.
But we’re leaving the EU?
Yes, the UK is indeed leaving the EU in due course. But since the Brexit article 50 was triggered in March 2017, and from then it takes two years for the UK to depart from then (or longer) it means GDPR will be introduced before we have left. So GDPR will take effect long before the UK departs from the EU, so we have to comply with the new legislation.
In August 2017, a new data protection bill was put forward by the UK government that essentially replicates the new GDPR rules. Once this bill is passed, it will clarify all the regulations for data protection once the UK leaves the EU. It’s a British version of GDPR, but as Shakespeare said: ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’.
Businesses would be wise to comply with the new GDPR legislation when it is introduced in May 2018. Even though the UK is leaving the European Union, GDPR is going to be introduced first. And even when we do leave, the UK Government has their own version of GDPR to introduce. So comply now, and save yourself the headache.
Plus, data protection is important and a great chance for you to show your customers that you respect their data and grow your credibility and loyalty as a brand.
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