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UNDERSTANDING GDPR and DATA PROTECTION

The purpose of GDPR:


Personal data represents who we are to the outside world. It tells the outside world what we do, and what we like/dislike.


Important life decisions are determined by the personal data we share – like the medical treatment we receive, whether we meet the criteria for a house loan, if we qualify for a job, if we are able to access our life savings. In the right hands, our personal data can be used to help us. In the wrong hands, it can cause us great harm. So, it needs to be treated with great care.


Privacy is a protective shield that allows people freedom to share their personal data - to say what they want, without being judged; to carry on in our everyday lives, set our social boundaries, without fear of condemnation or suffering reputational damage; to grow and mature without being constrained by mistakes we made in the past. It gives us freedom.


But for us to function in society, we must connect with others, and this involves taking a risk - identifying who we are, telling others about what we like or dislike, and how we feel about things. GDPR recognises that for society to function properly there must be a balancing act – protect a person’s freedoms and privacy but allow personal data to be shared. And that is why GDPR is important. It allows businesses operate and use a person’ s personal data under strict conditions. It’s there to protect our privacy and freedom, to take away the fear and risk of interacting with the outside world, by ensuring rogue businesses suffer severe financial consequences.


Apart from those consequences, there is a long list of reasons why a business should comply with data protection law, which ultimately all boil down to one key outcome – it creates trust. Trust is fundamental to any good relationship and every successful business is built and sustained on the bedrock of trust it has with its clients and consumers.


Therefore, personal data is potent and must be treated with great care. Its use can be the agent of great change for a business. Compliance with GDPR ensures it is a positive agent.

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