How long does personal data have to be stored under the data protection law?

The short answer is no longer than necessary.

Personal data will need to be retained for longer in some cases than in others. How long you retain different categories of personal data should be based on individual business needs. A judgement must be made about:

  • the current and future value of the information;
  • the costs, risks and liabilities associated with retaining the information; and
  • the ease or difficulty of making sure it remains accurate and up to date.

There are various legal requirements and professional guidelines about keeping certain kinds of records – such as information needed for income tax and audit purposes, or information on aspects of health and safety. If an organisation keeps personal data to comply with a requirement like this, it will not be considered to have kept the information for longer than necessary.

The CIPD have a great resource regarding HR records which can be found here.

Do I need to appoint a Data Protection Officer to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)?

Not necessarily, but you must ensure that your organisation has sufficient staff and skills to discharge your obligations under the GDPR and so you can appoint a data protection officer (DPO) if that helps you meet this criteria.

The GDPR says that they should have professional experience and knowledge of data protection law. This should be proportionate to the type of processing your organisation carries out, taking into consideration the level of protection the personal data requires.

Public authorities (except for courts acting in their judicial capacity) are required to appoint a data protection officer (DPO), as is any organisation carrying out large scale systematic monitoring of individuals (for example, online behaviour tracking); or carrying out large scale processing of special categories of data or data relating to criminal convictions and offences.

The DPO’s minimum tasks are defined in Article 39:

  • To inform and advise the organisation and its employees about their obligations to comply with the GDPR and other data protection laws.
  • To monitor compliance with the GDPR and other data protection laws, including managing internal data protection activities, advise on data protection impact assessments; train staff and conduct internal audits.
  • To be the first point of contact for supervisory authorities and for individuals whose data is processed (employees, customers etc).

You must ensure that:

  • The DPO reports to the highest management level of your organisation – ie board level.
  • The DPO operates independently and is not dismissed or penalised for performing their task.
  • Adequate resources are provided to enable DPOs to meet their GDPR obligations.


The role of DPO can be allocated to an existing employee. As long as the professional duties of the employee are compatible with the duties of the DPO and do not lead to a conflict of interests. You can also contract out the role of DPO externally.

How can Crimson Crab Help?

 

 

I have to retain accounts for HMRC purposes, especially income tax, for any business / sole trader that has ceased trading within previous years, would they have to comply with data protection in either current or future forms?

It is important to remember that we are only talking about third party personal data under the data protection rules.

If you are holding this as part of your responsibilities then you will need to comply with the Data Protection Act until May 2018 and the GDPR thereafter.

You need to think carefully about the storage and disposal of personal data. 

How can Crimson Crab help…

If I cease trading before the new data protection laws come into play, do I have to comply, or does it only apply to active businesses / sole traders?

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force in May 2016.

There is a two year lead in period to enable businesses to become familiar with the new regime and so the critical date is:

25th May 2018

The law applies to anyone who processes personal data (which includes storage and disposal) in whatever capacity.

How can Crimson Crab help…

What do I need in my business letterheads?

From a compliance perspective your clients are entitled to know the details of the legal entity that they are dealing with, especially if a business or trading name is being used. If the legal trading entity is a registered body there are some very specific disclosure requirements.

The information must appear in business letters and electronic equivalents including emails. To give you peace of mind we can check out your letterheads for compliance read more…

Can I do anything now to get ready for the changes in data protection laws?

Yes, it’s really important to get your house in order, ready for the new legislation.

You will need to get to grips with the new rights of individuals, handling subject access requests, consent, data breaches, and maybe even designating a data protection officer.

There is a responsibility to demonstrate compliance and so documenting what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with is an absolute must.

The important thing is to make sure that someone in your organisation takes proper responsibility for data protection compliance in good time and has the knowledge, support and authority to do so effectively.

How can Crimson Crab help? Read more…

Are my terms and conditions suitable?

There are two main issues here:

  1. using terms and conditions that are not bespoke to your business; and
  2. using terms and conditions that are out of date.

Your business’ terms and conditions should:

  • underpin the provision of good, consistent customer service;
  • give clarity of expectations & payment terms;
  • provide protection for all the parties involved;
  • ensure you meet all the legal requirements for your particular business; and
  • minimise legal disputes

If the worst comes to the worst and you end up in dispute with a client or customer, if they are in writing, they provide great evidence of what was agreed in the first place.

How can Crimson Crab help?

We can provide a free no obligation quote for a bespoke set of terms and conditions. Request a quote.

For a small fee we can review your current terms and conditions and give you a no obligation quote if they need amending. Order a review.

If you operate a consultancy we can supply a standard form agreement suitable for your business read more…

 

 

How is the law on Data Protection changing?

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will apply in the UK from 25th May 2018.

The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect their commencement.

They apply to ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’. The controller says how and why personal data is processed and the processor acts on the controller’s behalf. If you are currently subject to the Data Protection Act, it is likely that you will also be subject to the GDPR.

If you are a processor, the GDPR places specific legal obligations on you; for example, you are required to maintain records of personal data and processing activities. You will have significantly more legal liability if you are responsible for a breach. These obligations for processors are a new requirement under the GDPR.

However, if you are a controller, you are not relieved of your obligations where a processor is involved – the GDPR places further obligations on you to ensure your contracts with processors comply with the GDPR.

Read more…