EU GDPR Deadline Is Looming – Are You Prepared?

This post is sponsored by Microsoft– but all thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.

The highly anticipated General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force on May 25th  2018. Four years of debate within European Parliament has culminated in strict and extensive GDPR requirements. These will fundamentally outline how companies must process, store, and secure the personal data of all EU citizens. Any organisation not in compliance by this deadline will be subject to a heavy fine (maximum penalties of 20 million Euros or 4% of worldwide GDP).

The GDPR regulations are an evolution, rather than a revolution of the existing Data Protection Act of 1998 (DPA) and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR), and many argue- long overdue. The core concepts of the DPA remain unchanged; while the DPA applies to “personal data” such as information relating to an identifiable person, the new GDPR regulates the “processing” of this personal data, including: collection, storage, use, alteration, disclosure, and destruction.

One way to ensure you are clued up on the changes your business will face, is taking a look at Microsoft’s Modern Workplace webcast “GDPR Impact”.

The key principles for the new GDPR are simple; it applies to all organisations that store or process EU citizen’s data, meaning that individual’s rights to their personal data are stronger. It also applies to physical filing systems and electronic data, and fundamentally holds organisations accountable for demonstrating compliance. Overall it ensures consent is unambiguous, verifiable, clear and affirmative. If any of these terms are breached, organisations can incur fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of annual global turnover – depending on which is higher.

Although many organisations will likely already have data regulations in place, it is vital to update them so they are in line with the GDPR. For some organisations, this will require minor tweaks to their existing processes, while for others it may call for a complete overhaul of the company’s data handling procedure. Regardless of what stage your company is at with data protection regulations, complying with these upcoming legislative changes is unavoidable.

Given that the deadline is nearly 6 months away, organisations must begin preparing their checklists. Surprisingly, a recent survey highlighted the global confusion that still surrounds the GDPR, which is worrying given the looming deadline – and of course, the heavy penalties. Out of more than 1,600 organisations, a staggering 37 per cent of respondents simply didn’t know whether their organisation needs to comply with GDPR, while 28 per cent believe they don’t need to comply at all. Therefore, as 2018 is nearing, the key is to get clued up with the key changes to GDPR.

Microsoft’s Modern Workplace webcast on “GDPR Impact” is available now. It’s your chance to hear from industry experts who discuss everything you need to know about the upcoming changes to General Data Protection Regulations.

Don’t miss this opportunity to kick-start your GDPR preparation by seeking valuable insight and tips from leading experts.

To watch the full episode, please visit:

For more thoughts and opinions on technology and business innovation, take a look at Microsoft’s previous webcasts, as part of the Modern Workplace thought-leadership series. Please visit: