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How to be UK GDPR Compliant as a Small Business



How to be UK GDPR Compliant as a Small Business

As a small business, data protection may seem like a daunting field. Even so, data protection isn’t optional, and in all probability, your business handles data in some way.

If you want to prevent any fines or reputational damage that could come from poor data handling, you need to be aware of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In this short guide, we’ll answer your questions regarding the UK GDPR and what you need to do to comply with it.

Recent changes in data protection

Since leaving the European Union, the UK no longer follows European GDPR standards. It now has its own regulation called the UK GDPR. However, if your business collects data from EU citizens then you’ll need to be compliant with both.

The main thing is that your business’ processes need to reflect your awareness of the relevant regulations regarding data protection.

What is the UK GDPR and why is it important?

The UK GDPR is strong legal protection for people’s “personal information”: data that can be used to identify, locate or contact an individual. When misused or accidentally put into the wrong hands, this information can be used to violate an individual’s rights.

Your business often takes this information as a part of various processes that naturally occur in daily operations with customers. However, there are strict rules governing how you can use this information called “data protection principles”. According to these principles, you must:

  • Use data fairly, lawfully and transparently
  • Use data for clear and explicit purposes
  • Only record data that’s needed
  • Delete data that’s no longer needed
  • Handle data securely and safely

If your business is found to be violating data protection principles, you will face large fines. For reference, the largest UK fine to date sits at a huge €44,846,800.

Do you need a Data Protection Officer?

For small businesses, a Data Protection Officer (DPO) may not be strictly necessary. However, appointing an expert to safeguard customers’ personal data is a prudent decision if you want to ensure that your business complies with UK GDPR.

You don’t need to hire someone to fill this role. A current staff member can train to be a DPO. However, it could prove to be too much responsibility on top of their current role. If it seems prudent, you can always hire a specialist to assess and safeguard your business against data protection principle violations.

Where can I find out more about the UK GDPR?

The best resource for learning more about data protection is the UK Government’s guide to GDPR.Although much of it may not apply to you, having a wider knowledge will no doubt help you to keep your business compliant with the UK GDPR in the long run.