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The GDPR countdown: An opportunity to take steps beyond simply compliance

Chris Doutney
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Data has transformed how organisations and consumers interact. 

Businesses such as Amazon and Netflix are able to offer highly personalised services due to an effective use of data. It’s those levels of service that citizens are starting to demand from all organisations.

However, how organisations handle this data has increasingly come into question. The looming EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which come into force on 25 May 2018, has been designed to not only safeguard citizen data but put control back into the hands of the consumer. But with the volume of data, emerging technologies and the need to deliver better for less, it’s no easy task.

Our recent live debate with the Information Commissioner’s Office highlighted issues the public sector has in the build up to GDPR. Consider following these steps:

Educate: GDPR is everyone’s responsibility. All employees must be fully aware of the implications of GDPR and their role in ensuring compliance. There is an onus on leaders to ensure their teams are educated and a culture exists to support the new laws.

Prepare: Organisations must take an in-depth audit to identify what information they hold, who has access to what, and what their potential risks are. As many store data across multiple systems, there is a strong requirement to have a single view to ensure they retain an accurate and timebound view of all their customer data. GDPR requires all companies handling EU data to appoint a data protection officer. However, worryingly, our recent research with MyLife Digital found that 74% of local government organisations didn’t have a DPO contact listed.

Improve: Public sector organisations should see the new regulation as an opportunity to improve rather than as further forced compliance. By laying the correct foundations today, we can not only deliver services more efficiently, but foster an adaptive and strong ecosystem with our customers, based on transparency and a willingness to share. This bond will help organisations growt.

There lies a wider opportunity for public sector organisations to address broader data management challenges, which could ultimately provide a more accurate, single view of customers. When used appropriately public-sector organisations will be able to ensure the best possible service delivery for citizens, but gaining their trust first will be vital. This won’t be easy, but it’s a challenge we must all be prepared for as the need for transparency around data increases.

You can view our latest thinking and download our latest reports to help your own compliance journey at

Chris Doutney, managing director, Civica Digital

Column sponsored and supplied by Civica 

Civica logo 267 197

Civica logo 267 197

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