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Irwin Mitchell Says Good Data Governance Can Provide Commercial Benefits In Long Term

Law Firm Launches GDPR ‘Health Check’ Service And Urges Businesses To Act Now

14.03.2017

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

UK businesses which take proactive steps to deal with next year’s new data protection rules rather than ‘burying their heads in the sand’ have the opportunity to not only avoid hefty fines but build customer trust and confidence and potentially commercialise their data, says Irwin Mitchell.

These recommendations from the leading law firm coincides with the launch of their new data ‘health check’ service which is designed to not only help businesses to become compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), but help them manage their data in a more productive and effective way and reap the benefits from that.

The GDPR reforms come into force on 25 May 2018 and will affect all companies who use personal data. Contrary to popular belief personal data is not just consumer information however as business data relating to suppliers and customers who are sole traders and partnerships will also be caught. Under the rules, non-compliance can lead to potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is bigger.

Irwin Mitchell’s data health check can assess how ready a business is for the new rules, by identifying gaps and come up with a bespoke pathway to compliance.  As part of the process, Irwin Mitchell will devise a tailor made training program to ensure businesses are in the best shape possible to be GDPR compliant but also to ensure that they are using data in a productive way that can make the business more money.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have been providing data protection advice for over 20 years to both businesses and in house counsel and have been providing specialist advice on GDPR since 2015. They believe that by acting now, businesses can not only ensure that they are compliant but also start to reap the rewards of other commercial advantages.

Joanne Bone, partner and data protection expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

Expert Opinion
“The GDPR clock is ticking and businesses cannot ignore it. Many organisations are aware of the importance of the new regulations but unfortunately they are not doing enough about it. GDPR compliance is not about adding bells and whistles to your current data governance. Businesses will need to look afresh at what data they have and the basis on which they use it and build compliance from the ground up.

“All organisations will have different responsibilities when it comes to the new rules and we are calling on businesses to not just do the minimum in terms of compliance, but to go the extra mile.

“It is important to recognise that taking a proactive approach towards GDPR compliance will potentially reap financial benefits. Good data governance can build customer trust and the right permissions can also help you take advantage of the Big Data Revolution and enable you to commercialise your data.”
Joanne Bone, Partner

Some of the key changes to be introduced by the GDPR include compulsory notification of data breaches; the obligations to be more transparent in how personal data is used; increased rights given to individuals to access the data held on them, the right to be forgotten and also data retention now being significantly under the spotlight.

Expert Opinion
“You need to get your data fit for purpose and our experienced team of advisors can help to carry out a data health check to understand what data a business has, how it has been collected and what is done with it. We then work with businesses to identify the gaps and come up with a tailor made solution to ensure compliance. General advice is not enough and it’s vital that businesses seek specialist advice from lawyers who not only understand the new laws, but know how an organisation can take advantage of them.”
Joanne Bone, Partner

Find out more about how our data protection experts can help your business become GDPR compliant.