New Forest

Small firms not ready for data protection shake-up

Small businesses are worryingly underprepared with little over a month to go before new data protection regulations are introduced.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) claims 33% of SMEs have not started preparing for the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation, which takes effect on 25 May 2018.

A similar number (35%) have only recently started preparing for it, with 52% of those approaching the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for advice.

Only 8% of 934 small businesses polled by the FSB are ready to be fully compliant with the introduction of the GDPR.

Sanctions of £20 million or 4% of a business’s annual turnover, whichever is higher, are in place for non-compliance, although fines will only ever be applied as a last resort.

Elizabeth Denham, information commissioner, added:

“This law is not about fines; it’s about putting the consumer and citizen first and rebalancing data relationships and trust between individuals and organisations.

“We do have the power to impose larger fines, but we have access to lots of other tools that are well-suited to the task at hand, such as guiding, advising and educating organisations.”

For further information on GDPR, please contact Richard Bacon on 023 8046 1255.

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