The UK’s Data Protection Act was superseded by the General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018. The GDPR has given more control to the individual, allowing them to take greater ownership of the data held on them and how it’s used.
Failure by any organisation to keep accurate records or who are found to be holding information without a valid reason to do so will now receive much tougher penalties than those under the UK’s Data Protection Act. previously the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could fine up to £500,000 for malpractice. However under the GDPR fines will now be up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover (whichever is higher).
To add to this, an individual can also sue a company for compensation to recover material and non-material damage such as stress.
SARs and GDPR
GDPR has had an immediate impact on the delivery of SARs. Organisations can no longer charge for the production of SARs and any requests must now be completed within a month. Previously, an organisation was given 40 days to deliver the completed SAR and could charge £10 for the service.
Currently, there is very little data available that would indicate the scale of the expected increase in SARs now that the General Data Protection Regulation has come into force.
We decided to carry out some research of our own to try and gauge public knowledge and reaction to the changes. We surveyed just over 1,000 people to see if they would raise a SAR to see what information companies held on them.
Our research found that 57% of those asked would now want to request their data. We also found out that the sectors most likely to receive requests were mobile networks and providers, the finance and banking sector and social media platforms. Current or previous employers were also likely to be approached for information.
Reduce print and the environmental impact – Go digital
92% of consumers surveyed said that they would prefer to receive the information that companies hold on them digitally. The issue is that many companies are not geared up to handle requests in this way. Therefore, the financial implications for these businesses and the cost to the environment to print and ship securely are massive.
Plant a tree for every SAR
In order to offset the environmental impact of producing SARs on paper, and to encourage organisations to move towards a digital solution, we’re asking organisations to donate to the Woodland Trust. For every SAR that is produced on paper, Exonar is asking that organisations either plant a tree or make a donation to the Woodland Trust by using the link below.