Just how costly can data blunders be?

Just how costly can data blunders be?

As top data providers and UK list brokers, Seawave Media take data protection very seriously. With consumer data becoming increasingly important for businesses’ marketing efforts, it is becoming equally important for companies to invest in data protection, and changing laws are ensuring those who fail to do so pay the price.

One organisation that’s recently felt the full force of data protection laws is the NHS, which has seen two of its trusts hit with a total of £365,000 in fines for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act. The latest to be targeted, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, was given a £180,000 find after a sexual health clinic revealed the email addresses of more than 700 users of its HIV service, severely compromising patient confidentiality.

However, it wasn’t the first to be handed a fine; the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was asked to pay a £185,000 penalty for mistakenly posting the private details of 6,574 members of staff on its public website.

According to data from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) 2014/15 Annual Report, these blunders are the latest in a long history of public sector data protection breaches, with departments including local government, police, health and education accounting for more than 90 per cent of the casework at the ICO. But it’s not just public sector departments making the headlines, many private businesses have also faced hefty fines in the last 12 months for failing to protect their data.

The regulations surrounding data protection are on the rise and the onus if very much on businesses to make sure they are in control of their data and any data they purchase comes from reputable providers. Internal threats and hackers are two of the biggest causes for the mounting pressures on companies.

Enterprises can avoid penalisation in this area by ensuring they have implemented an effective data management infrastructure to keep data stored in accordance with laws and regulations. To do this, begin by noting who from within your business has access to data and when, which will allow for controls to be put in place that can signal any breached access. This process should then be discussed with your contractors, who should mirror the approach to avoid data breaches at their end.

To remain within the law, businesses also need to ensure they have fully compliant data in terms of customer transparency. Rather than demanding excessive data when presenting customers with web forms and registrations, only ask for necessary data and be transparent when you’re questioned on your company’s planned use of the data provided.

Many companies also choose to use data from consumer data providers. It’s essential that anyone taking this approach chooses a business like Seawave Media, who can offer a range of fully compliant data services that are safely within the law.

Unlike data collected by individual companies, data from UK list brokers is constantly updated to remain within changing EU data laws, ensuring your company can take advantage of the benefits of big data without dealing with the worry of penalisation.


Contact Seawave today and find out how our data can help your business

May 17, 2016 / Uncategorized

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Just how costly can data blunders be?

In May 2018, the new GDPR regulations become enforceable for all countries operating within the European Union. The new legislation establishes stringent changes to the way companies collect and process data and even more stringent consequences for those companies that fail to make their data fully compliant. And there’s not much chance that Brexit is going to make any difference; the regulations will become firmly established into law by the time we’ve left, and show little chance of being repealed afterwards. So, if you’ve not already optimised your consumer data processing practices, it’s time to start.

Opt-in data changes under the GDPR

One of the most profound changes that the GDPR will establish is in the way that businesses collect data. Whereas before you could operate under an opt-out policy, ensuring customers had to specifically declare that they didn’t want their data processed, now the opposite is the case. An individual now must actively volunteer their data, with tick boxes being the preferred method. Here are some other details the GDPR specifies:
  • As a default, tick boxed should be un-ticked. There should be further options available that allow the user to select the type of marketing correspondence they wish to receive; email, phone or mail.
  • The data subject is permitted to opt out of data processing at any point after opting in.
  • Consenting to data collection should not be a condition of service.
  • Sending someone an email to ask them for marketing permission is not permissible.
These changes will create profound challenges for companies looking to generate leads from marketing. What’s more, there’s a maximum fine of up to 20 million Euros, or four per cent of global turnover payable for a breach of these regulations; a figure that’s easily enough to send smaller firms into administration.

How to demonstrate data compliance

If companies choose to continue processing their own data after May 2018, there are a number of policies they will have to implement in order to demonstrate their GDPR compliance: • Appoint a data protection officer if at all feasible. • Carefully record and document all data processing activities. • Implement data minimisation and ‘pseudononymisation’ guidelines that adhere to the new regulations. In short, the data protection regulations that come into force next year are a minefield. The entire document clocks up just under a hundred individual articles that need to be adhered to.

Fully compliant data experts at Seawave

The team here at Seawave Media have a professional and comprehensive knowledge of the GDPR and other data protection regulations. It’s of vital importance to us that we operate to the highest data protection standards, and provide the most optimised and highest quality data possible within these regulations. Our goal is to ensure every legal box is ticked, while still providing you with high value consumer lifestyle survey leads that deliver a great ROI.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help optimise your lead marketing strategy, both right now and after the GDPR regulations come through in May next year.