Small firms still unprepared as GDPR comes into force, business group warns

Written by BT on 29 May 2018 in Sponsored Article
Sponsored Article

The Federation for Small Businesses has urged regulators be patient as firms try to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation

Many small companies in the UK are still unprepared for the EU’s new data laws, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned on the day the regulations come into force.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) give people in the EU new powers to access and control their personal data, as well as giving regulators greater power to levy fines on firms who mishandle data or fail to be transparent in how they collect and use it.

But the national chairman of the FSB Mike Cherry warned many smaller firms were still working on their compliance with the new laws.

“GDPR is here and the likelihood is that many of the UK’s 5.7 million smaller businesses will not be compliant,” he said, adding the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) needed to show understanding in its enforcement of the regulation.

He said: “It is concerning that the burden and scale of the reforms have proven too much to handle for some of these businesses and there is now a real need for support among the small business community.

“It is imperative that the ICO initially deals with non-compliance in a light touch manner as opposed to slapping small firms with fines.

“Small businesses must see the ICO as a safe space where they can go for advice and help in making the changes necessary to be compliant.”

The ICO has reassured firms it will not rush to levy large fines the moment GDPR comes into force, with Information Commissioner Elizabeth Dunham writing this week that “although the ICO will be able to impose much larger fines – this law is not about fines. It’s about putting the consumer and citizen first”.

Mr Cherry said he welcomed the ICO’s approach but warned: “The acid test will be whether good intentions are translated into actual practice on the ground”.

“Fines and sanctions will only deter businesses, while education and support will ensure compliance across the sector.”

As the new regulation came into force, the ICO reported on Thursday that sections of its website were struggling with demand from users visiting with GDPR-related queries.

“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for our payment services as we approach the introduction of the GDPR, which is causing our online service to run more slowly than usual,” the regulator said in a tweet.

“You may contact us at a later date if you experience any delays using our online payment services.”

Download BT's latest report Dealing with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation 

Share this page

Tags

Related Articles

DVLA seeks digital accessibility endorsement
22 October 2018

Agency aims to comply with  international accessibility standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

GLA to revamp London Mayoral election website
18 October 2018

LondonElects wants partner to conduct full user research exercise before creating new website for 2020 elections

‘GDS’s future mission needs clarifying’
18 October 2018

A House of Commons inquiry into the work of GDS to data and the state of digital government has begun publishing its findings. PublicTechnology looks at what a range of experts have had...

Making Tax Digital VAT pilot goes live
17 October 2018

HMRC director says that new digital ways to pay tax will give businesses more control over their finances

Related Sponsored Articles

GDPR already isn’t working
15 October 2018

The policies may be in place, but is it happening in practice? BT's Bas de Graaf looks at the reality of GDPR today

Simplicity in a complex world
8 October 2018

Cisco's Dominic Elliott shows how global organisations can embrace the benefits of SD-WAN without adding complexity

Make more of your digital transformation with Intelligent Connectivity
25 September 2018

When it comes to digital transformation, you want your organisation to lead from the front

Government begins to "rightsize"​ its estate
17 September 2018

BT's Simon Godfrey on how government is fundamentally rethinking its strategy for both people and places