You may have guessed this already, but lots of firms aren’t exactly prepared for the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
With the legislation set to come into force in May next year, a survey has revealed that nearly half (47%) of the UK’s office employees haven’t a clue whether or not their firm is doing anything to prepare.
And this could be a real problem: failure to comply could lead to some pretty severe penalties – up to €20,000,000 or 4% of a company’s global turnover, whichever is costlier.
Conducted by Fellowes (an office products supplier, not a group of dandy men), the survey discovered that 7% of employees don’t think their firm is even conscious of the GDPR, let alone doing anything about it – which is going to make writing that cheque to the Information Commissioner’s Office even more of a shock.
And the horrors the questionnaire revealed only get worse: 32% admitted unintentionally looking at private emails on their workmates’ computer screens; 20% said they never shredded documents that could really have done with shredding; and 44% fessed up to seeing printed confidential documents.
All sounds a bit of a mess, doesn’t it?
Fellowes’ sales and marketing director, Darryl Brunt, said: ‘Despite the impending GDPR deadline, our research shows that many companies don’t appear to have systems and policies in place to protect sensitive information. If this data is then stored illegally – or falls into the wrong hands – the damage caused to the organisation could be irreparable.
‘It’s essential for businesses to have robust systems in place to protect personal and confidential documents – including the secure shredding of obsolete sensitive paperwork. British businesses that don’t comply with the new GDPR from May next year could face huge fines of up to £18 million or more.’
How prepared are you for the GDPR? Are you so confident that you feel you could easily win a GDPR-readiness award – or are you already looking for a new job after your employer is inevitably fined into bankruptcy? Please let us know.