Menu

EU General Data Protection Regulations #1: What does it all mean?

EU General data protection regulationsEU general data protection regulations are facing fundamental change in the near future. The changes arise due to rapidly changing consumer and mobile technology developments. These forced the EU to rethink its approach and ensure respect and protection for fundamental human rights.

Draft regulations first appeared from the European Commission in 2012. Now, a little over four years on, the final version of the GDPR appeared in the Official Journal of the European Union. This will have far-reaching consequences for all legal practices as it effectively means some of the most stringent data protection laws in the world will come into force from 25th May 2018.

In normal circumstances, there would now be a two-year gap to permit individual EU members to change their own legislation to incorporate the regulations. However, GDPR will circumvent this by coming into effect directly on 25th May 2018.

What are the key changes?

Key changes include:

Wider territorial scope.

The new regulations will affect EU-domiciled and non-EU domiciled organisations in the same manner. In practical terms this means the GDPR will capture more overseas organisations. Additionally, overseas organisations will have to designate a representative within the EU.

Tougher Sanctions.

GDPR will boast some of the highest non-compliance sanctions including income based fines of up to 4% of worldwide turnover. Fines can also be imposed in conjunction with other sanctions.

GDPR also makes it considerably easier for individuals to claim compensation. This extends beyond just material damage and will include compensation for distress even where there is no financial loss.

Other key changes.

The list is almost endless. Further changes include:

  • More caught data.
  • Suppliers included in the legislation.
  • Higher bar for lawful processing.
  • International transfers.
  • Data breach notification changes.
  • Cross-border enforcement.
  • The appointment of data protection officers within organisations.

I indicated earlier the extensive nature of the legislation! To get the full picture, it’s worth taking a look at the article by DLA Piper which you can view here.

How will GDPR affect individuals?

GDPR enhances the rights enjoyed by individuals under current legislation and introduces a new right to data portability.  Greater transparency is also required from anyone who controls personal data and the following information must be provided at the time the data is obtained:

  • the identity and contact details of the controller
  • the Data Protection Officer’s contact details (if there is one)
  • both the purpose for which data is used and the legal basis for processing including if relevant the legitimate interests for processing
  • the recipients or categories of recipients of the personal data
  • details of international transfers
  • the period for which personal data is to be stored or, if that is not possible, the criteria used to determine this
  • the existence of rights of the data subject including the right to access, rectify, require erasure (the “right to be forgotten”), restrict processing, object to processing and data portability; where applicable the right to withdraw consent, and the right to complain to supervisory authorities
  • the consequences of failing to provide data necessary to enter into a contract
  • the existence of any automated decision making and profiling and the consequences for the data subject.

Additionally, where a controller wishes to process existing data for a new purpose, they must inform the individual concerned.

What can you do to prepare for the new regulations?

The extent of the regulations is bewildering and I have only touched on some of the key points here. My second article, EU GDPR #2: How can legal practices prepare? describes a few basic preparations that you can make to ensure compliance.

Mike O’Donnell, May 2017.

EU GDPR and law firms #2: How can you prepare?

Previous
Next

© LawWare Limited 1995-2017

Archives

Join over 365 law firms across the United Kingdom.

Our clients range from small start-up legal practices to multi-partner, multi-site firms.

As the first commercial user of LawWare back in 1998, we have had no hesitation in remaining with the product through its development. We thoroughly recommend it to any firm looking for a practice management system.

Alastair Hart & Co.
Alastair Hart

The helpdesk is exceptionally good. Whatever the query there is always a human being there to help. No leaving messages or being advised to go to a website. The best computer service for solicitors I have ever used!

South Forrest
Irene Yule

The linking of documents and casefiles saves so much time! I have experience of several accounts packages and I like that LawWare is simple to use and easy to learn. Support is quick and effective and staff are helpful and courteous.

Sprang Terras
Fiona Allison

I have worked with a number of Case Management providers over the years but have not come across anything with the attention to detail and thoroughness of LawWare. My colleagues and I have not been disappointed.

Brymer legal Ltd.
Professor Stewart Brymer

I can’t imagine trying to be a law firm in the 21st Century without 21st Century IT systems. Having a ‘single system’ that underpins all the work, whether we are in the office or out, is an integral part of what we are building.

Sneddon Morrison
Eric Lumsden

The level of support is the main benefit using this system.  The system itself once you have had training is simple and easy to use. We have a great relationship with LawWare and the ongoing support is second to none.      

Linda George Family Law
Sharon Rodger

Significant preparation was required to configure and import the data from our old firm. We had to get all clients onto the new system and then learn how to use it. We just find it very easy to use, much easier than our old system.

Scanlon Ewing
Maureen Ewing

It’s a big help that you can speak to the boss directly. The support team takes a lot of the technological stress away and, as LawWare continues to build relationships and integrations with other suppliers, it makes our life much easier.

Matthew Cohen & Associates Ltd.
Matthew Cohen

Being a busy litigator with a growing firm it is incredibly useful to be able to view my files from any location with some form of internet connection. I am a fan, and want to keep working with LawWare to make a good product great.

Helix Law Limited
Jonathan Waters

The switch to the new LawCloud system, which is still on-going, has gone very well. We found the LawWare team without exception to be very helpful and knowledgeable. All queries are followed up and dealt with promptly.

Cullen Kilshaw
Ross Kilshaw

interested in

Explore LawWare

Connect With Us