Happy Birthday GDPR!


Yep, it’s been a whole year! Yesterday was GDPR’s first birthday.

For most of us this has meant an increased number of buttons to press when we land on a new website (‘this site uses cookies…’; ‘here’s our privacy policy…’ etc) and possibly a feeling that it was all a bit too much fuss over nothing and maybe even a waste of time (for those of us that tried to do something to comply anyway!).

But GDPR has mattered and it has had an impact on the security and use of our personal information and the way it’s being handled.

In the first nine months since the new law’s implementation over 200,000 cases of possible breaches were reported to the European Data Protection Board: resulting in almost €56 million in fines. Obviously the greater part of that amount was issued to Google in January this year who received a €50 million fine for not being transparent when discussing their data processing activities and failing to obtain a valid legal basis for processing personal data for ad personalisation (1).

But the fines aren’t the whole point. Hopefully what GDPR has done is made people more aware that the way they use people’s information is important.

So while we may be fed up with clicking on buttons and unsubscribing from lists we thought we’d gotten rid of long ago maybe these are outweighed by the benefits that GDPR can bring to the safety of our own personal data. Especially if they are keeping a check on those larger corporations who sometimes think they’re untouchable!

And maybe it’s time to review our own systems again too and take a fresh look at how we collect, use and store our client information. Not because of the threat of the men in black beating down our door to inspect our processes and filing cabinets but because we all value our own privacy so it’s only right that we make sure we protect those that give us their personal information too.


  1. www.itgovernance.co.uk/dpa-and-gdpr-penalties
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