The new Data Protection Bill has been brought in to update the Data Protection Act, which was last updated in 1998. The idea is to offer individuals more control over their information, and it is vital that companies are aware of what to do when it comes to looking after people’s data.

The right to be forgotten
One of the major updates that have been included is the “right to be forgotten.” What this means is that people can ask for their personal data to be wiped, as well as access to any information that a company might have on them. For example, if someone posted messages on social media before the age of 18 they have the right to have this removed from the platform (this is a UK extension of the established EU law.) There may be some exemptions, but it is important for companies to be aware of how they store their data in case people ask for it.

Another major aspect is consent- this update in the rules is about reducing cold calls and spam messages. Companies need to clarify whether or not a box being ticked will result in receiving marketing messages, and individuals will have to make it clear that they are opting in.

Why it’s important
The vital thing to emphasise is that these are rules, not guidelines. If you do not follow the rules, you could be severely punished. You could end up being fined up to £17 million, or 4 per cent of a company’s global turnover. There has also been an introduction of two new criminal offences- It is illegal to re-establish someone’s identity from anonymous data and tampering with data that has been requested by an individual.

Keeping up to date
It is important to be aware of the information that you have on your customers, other businesses, employees, and services. Having a clear data protection policy is not just about ticking boxes and keeping in line with the law, it is also reassuring for customers that you take looking after their data seriously, and by implication, you care about them.

You may or not be sure about whether the rules apply to your business. There are also some exemptions regarding what data applies to these protection laws. This is why you should talk to a legal expert who has looked into this and can guide you through the process.

Larcomes has always believed in being “big enough to specialise, small enough to care.” This means we have legal specialists that have the necessary experience and resources, while at the same time providing the customer service necessary to guide you through the process. People often assume legal representatives are cold and unemotional, but the truth is we want to make sure you feel comfortable and give you the service you deserve. If you are concerned about data protection law and want to know more, please contact us today, and we will be happy to discuss your circumstances and help ensure you are compliant with the latest data protection rules.