data protection code of practice

GDPR | Seers Article

The GDPR Regulation of May 25th, 2018 provided much-needed improvements to the Data Protection Act (DPA) of 1998. It was felt by many to be long overdue, with the DPA. No, longer fit for the purpose for which it was originally designed. The guideline of DPA 1998 stated that business in the United Kingdom. That is collecting, storing or processing an individual’s details and information. Must, adhere to the regulations as defined by the Data Protection Act of 2018.

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For businesses that did not adhere to these regulations, fines could be issued to the organisations of up to £500,000 for failure to comply with the Data Protection Act. Any fines issued under the DPA were typically for data breaches and very often not issued. However, the Data Protection Act had become outmoded because businesses have changed the ways to manage and use personal data. With online shopping, social media due to analysis and online marketing using personal data and trends.

Breach of Data Protection Act is to use or process the personal data illegally, or the person doesn’t know that his data/information is in use for online marketing or any marketing/business that the user didn’t allow the organisation to use their information.

Summarising the principles of the DPA

The Data Protection Act NI applies to every business and organisation based in UK. That was processing an individual’s personal data and information. A set of guidelines, mainly for self-management, were available for businesses.

The keys points of the Data Protection Act (DPA) are set out below; these were the fundamental points that businesses needed to comply with to meet the regulations set out by the DPA. Businesses and organisations must ensure that personal data is

  • Used properly and legally;
  • is gathered, held and processed for only specified purposes;
  • the information should be sufficient and relevant and by no means excessive;
  • should be accurate and kept up to date;
  • data should not be retained for an excessive period if no longer applicable;
  • individual’s rights must not be forgotten when processing data;
  • the data is securely stored and processed;
  • should not be transferred outside of the UK unless sufficient legal protection is in place.

Any businesses that were found to be in breach of the Data Protection Action 2018 could receive from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), financial penalties as much as £500,000. With the urgent need for the Data Protection Act (DPA) to be reviewed, the DPA was replaced with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  In summary, each and every business in the EU needed to comply with the GDPR Regulations from May 25th, 2018. Or potentially suffer from much stiffer financial penalties.

GDPR, the updated Data Protection Act 1998

If you have a business in the EU, then you will be aware of the General Data Protection Regulation, ( GDPR ). 2012 was the year it all instigated when the European Commission laid down the basis to reform the data protection to be applied across all member states within the EU. These reforms were put in place to ensure that Europe is in line with an ever-evolving and modern digital revolution. That necessitated extra protection for users who readily divulge private information online. The implications of this new legit infrastructure apply to all the organisations in Europe but also globally for any organisation. That processes data of individuals within Europe.

What are the main entities of the GDPR?

Under the GDPR there are three data entities:

  1. The data controller can be a single person within an organisation, or it may be a public authority or agency.
    Ultimately, the data controller is the body that determines “the purposes and means of processing of personal data”;
  2. The data processor can be a public body or an individual who carries out the processing of personal data on the controller’s behalf.
  3. Data Protection Officer is a new subject brought into force by the GDPR. The role of the DPO is “to ensure that an organisation processes the personal data of its staff, customers, data providers or any other individuals (also referred to as data subjects) with GDPR compliance with the applicable data protection rules.”

The GDPR audit places a higher level of responsibility upon processors and controllers who are legally required to ensure that GDPR. GDPR compliance is in place across the organisation and concerning all third-party contracts.

  • The GDPR backbone is to ensure there are solid standards for the protection and privacy of data that is held by organisations but also to ensure that businesses can benefit in this global digital economy.
  • The regulations are developed over many years to manifest how we live in this digital era, mainly while focusing on the areas of protection, privacy and consent.
  • The GDPR Regulations have been designed in such a way as to not only regulate but to speed up global business internet usage.

The GDPR and online services

The bottom line is that every aspect of daily life now revolves online, whether it´s

  • Social networking
  • Online banking
  • Online shopping

Each of these is essential examples, but the online experiences continue to change and evolve.  The GDPR has been designed to cover existing and new developments efficiently unlike the now dated DPA 1998. Practically every online service is involved with the collecting and analysing of personal data, and most people are happy to accept and take privacy risks due to the convenience of using online services. Conversely, third party “behind the scene” organisations that track and monitor data online are the primary subject of the GDPR.

These organisations are typically ISPs, (Internet Service Providers), who are legally obliged to track and monitor data to ensure the smooth running of networks and prevent security attacks. ISPs have been permitted in many instances to collect and sell private data without permission and have access to billions of online e-commerce transactions which allows them to analyze data and understand individuals buying trends.

The GDPR, at last, has protected an individual’s data and information against such practices. Online conglomerates make it their business to collect data to compose a valuable resource of data to be sold to marketers and advertisers. Companies such as those listed below have been a huge financial success, not just down to the user experience that they offer. But mainly due to their rudimentary business models for advertising. Their ability to deliver related adverts to customers based on the previous browsing history.

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • YouTube

Income is being generated by the likes of Facebook. Each time an advert is delivered to a target user or a link is clicked for example. Every click you make is tracked, and accessed by the likes of Facebook and based on your previous searches and browsing history. The websites know exactly what advertising should be displayed to you.

Internet privacy and the question of data collection and storage has been simmering for many years — the fact that data breaches are resulting in stolen or lost information and the negligent sharing of private data. Private data are the chief problem that the GDPR will hopefully resolve. Data breaches have been taking place for years but with the dated DPA regulations and financial penalties. They are not being sufficient to be a deterrent to the larger online businesses.

✓ Comply or Indemnify

The GDPR fines are way too higher than financial penalties under the DPA. The organisation will need to be GDPR compliant with the regulations. It is a mistake to assume that a small business will fall outside of these regulations, and actions. Should be taken to determine how data is collected and stored. There are substantial penalties and GDPR fines in place for noncompliance. The GDPR fines are far higher than financial penalties under the DPA.

✓ Protection of Data and Personal Information

Any types of information that may be classed as personal data.  This will be data that has the potential to identify an individual, and includes but is not limited to:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Photos
  • IP addresses
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data
  • Account numbers

Businesses are required to ensure that they have a GDPR compliance policy and procedure by undertaking an action plan to determine:

  • How is data captured?
  • How is the data held?
  • How will the data be used?
  • Where is it going, is it outside of the EU?

Once this exercise is established, your business must carry out impact assessments on data protection and privacy. To help your organisation to identify and deal with potential issues in the event of a security breach. How your business deals with a GDPR data breach is a process of paramount importance. One that has to be taken seriously when achieving GDPR compliance.

Article 35 of the GDPR gives guidance and downloads on what an impact assessment should contain; this is essential information. For every business to understand and ensure GDPR compliance. A detailed policy, including GDPR training to spread awareness across all departments. Should be drawn up making certain all safeguards and security measures are in place to determine. How any risk can be kept to an absolute minimum,  and what should happen in the event of any breach.

The emphasis for all organisations should be on policies, procedures, and systems which are designed for data protection in mind. It is crucial in this digital age that organizations have effective and integral security in place to protect the data they hold.

✓ Rights of Individuals

A major change brought about by the GDPR is a greater array of rights by individuals to control how their private data is used including rights to:

  • Understand what data and information is held
  • to refuse the use of such data and ;
  • To have the right to have personal data held by organisations deleted.

✓ Fair and Transparent Data Processing

The GDPR has imposed duties upon businesses to provide detailed explanations directly to their data subjects in a clear and transparent manner. Businesses are being urged therefore to incorporate these explanations into their policies and procedures in such a way as to make them available to individuals. Such policies have to provide a comprehensive outline of the basis and purpose of the organisation´s for personal data use, to protect act.

Extra Issues to take into consideration

✓ Data Breaches

All organisations should be utterly aware across all departments and personnel as to what would constitute a security breach.

The GDPR stipulates:

“A personal data breach means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data. This includes breaches as a outcome of both accidental and deliberate causes. It also means that a breach is not just about losing personal data.”

The ICO website is a useful resource to have a more detailed explanation about data breaches and clear examples of what constitutes a breach.

It will significantly assist an organisation in providing thorough GDPR training and having in place strict policies and procedures. This is vital to abet all personnel recognize and apprehend any breach and to know how to act when any breach occurs.

✓ Third-Party Contracts

Many organisations use third-party suppliers and contractors, it is the norm in business but how will this be affected under the GDPR?

Any well-reputed organisation will always want to avoid entering into detrimental relationships with third-party businesses. A method of ensuring that your organisations remain compliant is to carry out checks on each of your suppliers to understand that they too comply with the GDPR regulations. Regardless of where your suppliers are based. If they are holding and processing data from the EU, they must also adhere to the GDPR. Due diligence background checks upon existing and new suppliers and business partners will help to avoid risks and potential problems in the future.

GDPR and Data Protection Act 1998 Summary

The GDPR is all about creating transparency and long term trust between organisations and their data subjects.  It is clear the GDPR has come a long way since the DPA law of 1998, and this is clearly what has been needed for so many years. The provisions change the way in which data is acquired along with consent from individuals and by implementing well thought out policies and procedures.  This will ensure your organisation is GDPR compliant and avoid GDPR fines for not adapting to the regulations. Regular reviews of the GDPR and keeping abreast of your policies and procedures will ensure you stay GDPR compliant and also gain the trust and reputation of not only your customers but other third-party organisations who would like to develop business services with likewise compliant organisations.

The Data Protection Act of 2018 is the implementation of the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the UK. The data protection act outlines and prescribes ways to address data privacy in the digital world. It identifies that information must flow with ease, and without discomfort. The data subjects, private individuals and businesses to a great extent are also covered under the data protection act.

This act aims to ensure that:

  • All data subjects in the digital world are free from unwanted use of their information
  • No unwanted marketing or propaganda related communication is directed towards private individuals through unconsenting use of their contact information
  • Harm through identification or information leakage to unwanted parties is limited and reduced 
  • All unlawful use of information, exchange or monetary deals on the exchange of information are limited
  • Reduction of any risk to the private individuals in case of and pertaining to the information exposure

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The actions undertaken by all firms in the UK are subject to the Data Protection Act of 2018. This allows individuals to be in control of their own information flowing around. The act ensures better safety provisions for people whose sensitive information may be shared or used.

How to be GDPR Compliant?

There is much more to understand to make your business GDPR compliant, far more than was necessary for the Data Protection Act 1998. Companies such as Seers, offers GDPR consultancy and Data Protection Services.  Offering the resources and tools to ensure that your business does not fall foul to the hefty GDPR fines. Robust AI software solutions create custom based data protection solutions giving your organisations GDPR compliance a far more structured and proven approach.


Changes in the way human beings engage in commercial activity, communication online and the extent of the virtual life in their real-life resulted in the need for a revised legislative system. The data protection act has been thus upgraded in the form of the EU GDPR. 

The key points of the EU GDPR remain the same as the key points of the data protection act. This is slightly more detailed and comprehensive on the aspect of cybersecurity.


Is the data protection act the same as GDPR?

The GDPR and data protection act, both elaborate on the same principles of privacy and data security. Whilst, the GDPR also takes into account the data subjects, identifying that they have a right not to be subject to automated decision making or profiling. As compared to the DPA that allows data subjects to be profiled and subject to an automated decision if there are adequate legitimate grounds for doing so and safeguards can protect individual rights and freedoms. The remaining principles are the same for both legal acts

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