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Thrings Host Total Guide to GDPR Event

This past Monday (26th) Swindon-based law firm, Thrings, along with Planet IT and Total Guide to, hosted a workshop discussing all things GDPR.

As you may know, new General Data Protection Regulations come in to force on 25th May 2018. This means, in a nutshell, that any business that processes people’s personal data has to do so in a more responsible way.

The idea surrounding GDPR is that businesses need to stop thinking of the data they collect about people as ‘theirs’, and take the view that they’re custodians of that information. Businesses need only collect the data they need, only store it for as long as they need to, and only use it for the purposes that data subjects have consented to.

What does this mean for businesses? Well, it means you’ll have to prove where you got your data from, how you got that data and that you have proof that you were allowed to collect that data. It also means that businesses may have to ask people they already hold data on to re-confirm that they’re happy to have their data held.

For the rest of us? It means that we should feel more comfortable about giving away our personal information. That will only be used for what we want it to be used for, and that it won’t be sold on to third-parties unless we’ve said it’s ok (We're looking at you Facebook!)

The event itself was held at Thrings’ impressive offices on Penny Lane, Swindon, as Partner and Intellectual Property lawyer Graeme Fearon talked the group through what the new legislation actually meant. Graeme, who has been very busy indeed over the last few months as GDPR looms, has a fantastic way of breaking down all the technical language in to a way that was accessible and easily understandable.

Graeme gave a perfect example of how GDPR will change for people, when he spoke about signing up for the free WiFi on a train: You give your email address – but why your postcode? And why do they need to know my marital status? When the changes are made, hopefully it’ll men the end of giving away unnecessary personal data.

So how do you even start making sure your business complies with GDPR? Fortunately for us and the rest of the attendees, James Dell from IT solutions provider Planet IT spoke about the application of the new regulations. Businesses will have to appoint a Data Protection Officer or Data Protection Manager to ensure that all steps have been at least attempted to be conformed to, and there is a toolkit available from Planet IT with drafts of the 30+ pieces of documentation that businesses will need to have in place.

The morning ended with the attendees having the opportunity to ask the experts specific questions that pertained to their businesses. With the regulation being bespoke to each company, having the chance to discuss specific points about setting up to compliant was invaluable.

We’d like to thank Thrings and Planet IT for taking the time to take part in our Total Guide to GDPR event, if you have any further questions, we’d strongly recommend talking to the experts:

Graeme Fearon, Thrings

James Dell, Planet IT

Thrings Swindon


Thrings Solicitors in Swindon have been providing legal advice to businesses and individuals for almost 300 years.

6 Drakes Meadow, Swindon, SN3 3LL

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