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2018: The challenge of GDPR

The great thing about this topic is I can choose whatever I like and nobody can say I'm wrong for 12 months minimum. That beats my daily social media work these days, where my silly errors can be exposed or contradicted by someone in milliseconds! Seriously though I find these top trends articles addictive reading myself so I’m delighted to contribute my penny’s worth and here goes!

For many if not most of us, one mega challenge for 2018 can be summarised in 4 letters “GDPR” ie General Data Protection Regulation, which has a deadline of 25th May 2018 attached. Put simply this means that after that date any “misuse” of the personal data of any EU state citizen is punishable by (potentially large) fines. As we all start our final rush to get ready for GDPR, these are the key trends I'm seeing amongst my comms & PR buddies and their companies:

-       New thinking: A change of mindset from where we are currently ie where personal data (emails, names, addresses et al) is collected and shared all too casually and often insecurely, to a better situation where we lawfully respect the personal data of the individual and only use it in honest and agreed ways;

-       New data audits, policies, processes and plans: ‘Cos if the powers that be come calling to check our compliance, they will want to see all this documentation in day to day use;

-       Better data systems and data protection: So that personal data is restricted to those who really and lawfully need it to deliver customer/stakeholder satisfaction and thus the risk of human error is reduced to as close to zero as possible;

-       Continuous learning, training, auditing & improvement: For all relevant staff and business partners, so no one can claim ignorance!

Sounds scary and maybe a bit dull and bureaucratic (and to be honest it can be in places) but it’s all for good i.e. a future where we all control our own data, for better life and brand experiences … well that’s what we hope for