Steer issue 24 July 2019 - Page 18

can we forget about it now?
Good question; everyone is sick of hearing about the
Generally Dreaded Preposterous Regulations or, in other
words, GDPR. We have all been bombarded with hundreds
of emails asking us to either opt-in or ‘hurry while there’s still
time’, all reminding us that if we don’t do something the world
will end as we know it on the 25th of May.
Well, the world didn’t stop spinning on its axis on the 25th,
and the regulator didn’t start issuing fines willy nilly causing
businesses to go bust overnight.
Just another Y2K?
So, is it all just a fuss about nothing? Just another hyped
exercise to make a quick buck off another PPI type gravy
The simple answer is no. GDPR is real and it’s here to stay.
It is certainly not ‘just another Y2K’ as some may have us
believe (at least for those of us who remember Y2K). The key
difference is that, with Y2K, the impact was instant. When the
clock struck midnight at the start of the milleniummillennium
you knew straight away if you were impacted or not and
that would be the end of it. With GDPR, however, the story
was only just beginning as day broke on the 25th of May
and every single day since then businesses are expected to
comply with the stricter controls on personal privacy. In that
respect, GDPR is more like anti-money laundering regulation
(to state an example) than Y2K.
Every man and his dog
Considering the previously unheard ofunheard-of penalties
and the large market, many have jumped on the bandwagon
to capitalize on the opportunity and, in doing so, have created
a market of misinformation and self-appointed experts all
proclaiming different versions of the truth. Unfortunately, this
has resulted in a lot of confusion and distrust in what is an
important topic that can actually help businesses. Instead, it
seems a large number of small businesses are left wondering
what to do and who to trust. In testament to this, the
Federation of Small Businesses has stated that the
‘........likelihood is that many of the UK’s 5.7 million smaller
businesses will not be compliant’.
Although there isn’t a big push by the regulators to target
small businesses per say, GDPR is still law whether we like it or
not. Small businesses (including sole traders) can still be sued
by employees and clients, and can still face crippling fines for
serious offences. Unlike before, consumers can bring legal
action against companies, which sets a new chapter in where
litigation can originate for the misuse of personal data.
“Consider” not “Forget”
So, in summary, NO you certainly cannot forget GDPR. What
you can do, however, is forget the scaremongering and hype
and instead consider the simple changes you need to make
to ensure you avoid disruption to your business, and usher in
the new age of data privacy.
Simon Chambers is the co-founder of a software
services company New Leaf Technology Solutions.
He is proud to have co-created,
a simple, cost effective GDPR solution for UK small
businesses. Check out


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