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Data Protection Day: 5 GDPR mantras event planners should know

Privacy expert and industry thought-leader, Barry Cook, shares his top tips for complying with the strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law, enforced by the European Union in May 2018.

GDPR deals with how personal information is collected, stored and shared. If a company is found not to be complying with GDPR law there could be a hefty fine of up to £20m waiting for them, so it’s worth knowing your stuff.

If you collect it, protect itData protection

Follow reasonable security measures to ensure that customers’ and employees’ personal information is protected from inappropriate and unauthorized access.

Know what you are protecting

Be aware of all the personal information you have, where you are storing it, how you are using it and who has access to it. This not only mitigates the risk of a leak but allows you to pull information, quickly, in the event of a user request.

It’s better to be safe than sorry

Recent industry surveys have revealed that between 75 per cent and 85 per cent of small business owners believe larger enterprises are most likely to experience data leaks. This is not true – data protection is important for all businesses, large and small.

Do you need the data?

Personal information is both a commodity and a liability. Apply a NEED – WANT – DROP approach across your operations to ensure you’re maximizing the benefits, and limiting risk, from the data you collect.

Develop long-lasting, trust-based relationships

By having a strong privacy and data protection policy. Customers will want to know that you are protecting their information. Make sure you have a clear, and honest policy they can refer to explaining how you use and keep their information safe.

Where can event planners go to seek help if they’re unsure if they’ve breached data privacy regulations?

There’s great guidance, and compliance checklists, published on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website.