Cast your mind back to 1995. John Major is the Conservative Prime Minister and is leading a party suffering from serious in-fighting over Europe and the film studio Pixar has just released its first movie - Toy Story - which will later become the highest grossing film of that year. Against this backdrop, the EU publishes a Directive regulating the processing of personal data within the EU. All Member States had soon enacted it into law, in this country that being the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”).
While some things have not changed, the technology between then and now is vastly different. The national courts and Data Protection Authorities have performed valiantly in making a law that was created nearly 10 years before the first social network, and 3 and a half years before the release of the Nokia 3210 (other manufacturers were available), work in this age of the smartphone and social media.
The 1995 Directive never imagined that there would be information sharing on the scale that we have today, and is ill-equipped to deal with it. It is time for reform, and on 25 May 2018 that will happen as the General Data Protection Regulation (“ GDPR”) comes into force.
What is changing - key points to note
GDPR is coming and its effects will be wide-ranging. Start preparing now to prevent getting caught out later.
Karen Harrison, data protection partner with Knights, will be presenting our April webinar on the GDPR.
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