The role of technology in data protection under the GDPR

In 2016, the EU data market was valued at €59.5 billion, a figure that’s anticipated to hit €106.8 billion by 2020.

As our dependence on the data economy increases, businesses are going to have to work hard to comply with the GDPR if this positive growth trend is to be sustained and realised.

While professional behaviours will have to adapt, a true cultural shift will only be possible if technologies are in order, and bosses should be preparing to spend money to adapt software and business systems.

Data storage

Most business owners will be aware of the need to audit current databases to ensure that consents are in order and valid for life after May 25th when the GDPR falls. Problems start because many firms simply do not know what information they hold, and where it’s kept, with just one third of organisations feeling they could quickly identify all the data they hold on individuals.

Test data management can help firms to identify data assets and chain them together to create structured data relating to individuals. If a data subject requests their information, they can have the relevant details presented in a readable and understandable way with a minimum of fuss.

Data collection

Under the GDPR’s climate of consent, organisations will have to use a clearly explained and easy-to-understand, active opt-in system by which to obtain a data subject’s permission to collect corresponding personal data.

Technologies and tools now exist that enable marketers to lay each of these issues out clearly for the consumer. Once harvested, this clean data will then be stored in a way that puts the consumer in control of the communications they receive from a company.

Personal data safeguards

After May, organisations will have to report any data breach within 72 hours of it being reported, to the relevant regulatory authority.

While a Data Protection Officer will be able to help provide guidance on this issue, technologies are emerging that will offer increasingly advanced encryption and monitoring of how well firms are adapting to the GDPR.

Executives will be able to access personalised dashboards and gain insight into business metrics that relate to database safety, ultimately painting a picture of overall journey to compliance. Automated breach alerts are part of the safety net, minimising the time taken for issues to be identified, reported and addressed.

Moving forward

Almost all organisations will have to accelerate and adapt their business technologies to accommodate the GDPR and to avoid the crippling penalties that falling short can attract.

And while improving systems may be a lengthy task, business owners should bear in mind that this wholly necessary task is a progressive journey, and few companies are going to get things right first time.

Far from taking the ‘wait and see’ approach, bosses should be doing all they can now to become aware of the new data security climate and how business systems need to be updated to meet the challenge.

Join the experts on the forefront of the GDPR debate

You can get your questions answered at GDPR Conference Europe, a one-day event packed with insight from key UK authorities on the forthcoming legislative changes.

At GDPR Conference Europe features 10 keynote presentations and live panel discussions will provide case studies, specialist guidance, actionable steps to compliance and much more.

To see the Conference Agenda or to book tickets, click here.


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