What does GDPR really mean for you?

Firstly GPDR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and comes into force on 25th May.  The recent stories about the use of Facebook data has brought into focus why these rules are being introduced.  The trouble is that for the smaller business they are, potentially, an admin nightmare.

The key issues you need to understand and demonstrate capability for, it seems, are:

  1. Why are you holding this data, is it still justified?  If not it should be deleted.  So holding ongoing customer data is ok but a customer that left you a year ago probably not.
  2. Consent to hold data must be explicitly given and not as a result of not opting out. You must also store how consent was given.
  3. Online identifiers such as IP addresses now qualify as well as personal data – so wifi logins are impacted
  4. People can ask for access to their data at “reasonable intervals”, and you must generally respond within one month
  5. Any data breaches must be notified within 72 hours of you becoming aware to the Information Commissioner’s Office

We are going to talk penalties here. The numbers are, potentially, big but remember that the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has already stated that penalties are a last resort. They want you to be compliant and so will ok with you, rather than starting with fines and going from there.

  • Failing to meet the 72-hour deadline could mean a penalty of up to 2% of annual worldwide revenue, or €10 million, whichever is higher.
  • Failure to follow the basic principles for processing data, such as having a legal basis for doing so, ignore individuals’ rights over their data, or transfer data to another country, the fines are even worse.    This could be a penalty of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is greater.

For those that recall the issues TalkTalk had with breaches of its web site and loss of data in 2016 for which they fined £400,000 under these rules the fines could have been as high as £59 million.

If you’d like to know more about the key issues involved with GDPR, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What does 5G really mean to you and I?

5G in the future5G Future Reality?

Last month saw Ofcom auction of part of the radio spectrum for 5G technology.  Apart from raising almost £1.4Bn for the chancellor of the Exchequer you might be saying “so what”.  But 5G has the potential to transform our daily lives but only if the UK is at the forefront.

So what is 5G?  Firstly it will be fast – about 10 times faster than 4G meaning a high definition film should only take about a second to download.  It would also enable much touted virtual reality games.   Secondly there will be less latency than 4G, whilst this is not always noticeable, these brief lags between data being sent and received.  Again so what – well imagine that delay when applying to a driverless car communicating with traffic lights or the gap between a surgeon remotely controlling a laser during surgery.  Finally, 5G offers greater capacity which means more devices can connect and communicate at the same time.  This is obviously important for the internet of things as we connect our heating, front door cameras and even BBQs to the web.

That all sounds great but then think back to the fuss made around 4G and we arrive at the point where the most recent report said the UK ranked 54th in the world for 4G coverage.  There is no point in having great technology if you can only access it part of the time especially if it relates to driverless cars.

All this investment in the technology will need to be paid for at a time when network operators are facing revenue pressures from applications such as whatsapp which has seen text messages volumes fall by 40% over the last 4-5 years.

So there is the potential that 5G will cost more and certainly you need to buy a new phone which if the technology is available is to be available in the next two years means when signing your next phone contract do you actually want a phone or are you better being sim free.

5G represents a great opportunity for the UK to make up for the mistakes it made over 4G and broadband availability and become genuine leaders in Europe at least.  But it needs to hold the operators accountable for failures to deliver and be radical about releasing the capacity within the spectrum.