GDPR: The Countdown is on, Are You Ready?

Posted on 01 September 2017 by David Haines in Human Resources

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) marks one of the biggest collective shifts in the way businesses operate across the EU. We, along with every other service provider working in or with organisations within the EU, have faced the challenge of not only ensuring Xref is compliant, but also supporting our clients as they navigate their way through the steps required to demonstrate that they are prepared.

It’s easy to get caught up in the fear and cynicism that comes with such a monumental market shake up, but amongst all the noise about the heightened compliance requirements, we should also recognise the benefits we’ll see when the regulation is accepted and intrinsically embedded.

We have an opportunity to demonstrate how seriously we take the protection of personal data and, given the consolidation of regulations across all EU countries, we will finally have a united front. We will no longer be competing with the confusion of numerous laws across different countries. We will need to take extra measures to ensure the safe collection, analysis, use and storage of personal data but, frankly, in age where our digital profiles offer so much insight into our personal lives, we should see this a positive step to protect personal identity, rather than a professional burden.

This regulation also forces EU organisations to consolidate and manage the personal data they have access to. The topic of Big Data management and utilisation has been top of the list for organisations globally for some time now - knowing how to appropriately coordinate and make best use of that data for capital gain, without breaching data privacy compliance, has been the biggest challenge. Once all the measures are in place to manage GDPR, organisations will be able to efficiently locate and report on data as and when necessary, meaning they are also better placed to meet customer needs and engage with them in a manner they recognise and feel comfortable with.

That all said, we’re aware the prospect of the new regulation can be a daunting one - particularly for HR professionals with access to a wealth of personal data. So, we’ve created a checklist of questions we feel every HR leader should be considering now as, at least, a starting point to ensuring they’re ready by May 2018.


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