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Why is Data Protection Important? GDPR Compliance and How to Protect Personal Data


We live in an age where our personal data is our identity, defining us as individuals and citizens in a digital world. So who protects our data and our identities? The companies that hold our personal information are responsible for it, yet how do we know we can trust them? In May 2018 the EU will introduce a new law, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. This law is a response to important questions of our time. Why is data protection important? Why do we need data protection laws? It addresses online privacy and security, for both individuals and organisations, and urges those responsible for data to take the appropriate measures to ensure that it is safe and accessible.
Many businesses may balk at the enforcement of greater privacy regulation. But the European General Data Protection Regulation need not be a threat. In fact, according to Computacenter and IBM, it should be viewed as a bold chance—to heighten security, enhance organisation, improve efficiency, and drive value. Now is the time to start planning for the coming changes in legislation. Make sure your company is ready to fulfill GDPR compliance and implement the best methods to protect personal data.
A key point to understand is that data protection means digging deeper into your data. Greg Campbell, IBM’s Governance, Regulatory and Legal Consultant states, “You need to be able to access the data and report on it quickly and reliably. You need to know your data and where it resides. That takes operational methodologies that are streamlined and reliable. Putting those in place has the potential to improve the efficiency of your organisation, enabling you to deploy processes and technology that can help to make you more productive. You will have taken important steps towards knowing your organisation’s data better, and with proper implementation, it will be more agile.”
Accessing, understanding, and managing data means you can shield it from misuse, and getting there means your company will become more operationally functional and competent. Bill McGloin, Computacenter’s Chief Technologist, argues, “Exploiting your data intelligently will drive revenues. Managing your data efficiently will cut costs. Ensuring your platform is fit-for-purpose and can cope with all your existing data, and the constant addition of new data, will make you more efficient.” Understanding how to protect personal information doesn’t have to be a burden. Businesses with the appropriate data protection measures will stand out in a competitive marketplace as being more trustworthy and up-to-standard. This will in turn make them more attractive to both customers and employees. Though 2018 may seem far away, now is the time to start strategising to meet the challenge—and opportunity—ahead.
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