UK: GDPR - The Road To Implementation (Video)

The requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and what you need to do to prepare ahead of the long awaited enforcement in May 2018.


David Lowe: Jocelyn you're a director in our Data Protection Team, I've heard a lot about data protection and the general data protection Regulations, is it actually finally going to happen?

Jocelyn Paulley: Yes it is now finally going to happen, come 25 May 2018 the GDPR will finally come into force. 

David: And so should people be doing something about that?

Jocelyn: They certainly should, because we've had the final text of the Regulations for just under a year now and everyone's aware of the implementation date so the regulators are all expecting, controllers and processors who now have direct obligations under the Regulations to be compliant come May next year.

David: Right and is it that different to the old Data Protection Act?

Jocelyn: The key principles that were enshrined in the Data Protection Act, the eight principles, those are still there in the GDPR albeit some have been reinforced and some have been added to but there are some other key differences in the new GDPR.  For example processors who have direct statutory obligations, we have mandatory breach reporting, the requirements of consent is set at a higher level than it used to be under the DPA and the fines of course are at a much higher level than they were previously. 

David: So if you had sort of paid lip service to data protection compliance in the past, now's the time to change?

Jocelyn: I think now is certainly the time to change. The regulators and the message from the regulators is that data protection compliance should no longer be paid lip service, it's something that needs to be taken seriously and an organisation needs to be accountable for its treatment of personal data and be able to evidence that accountability as well which is a new requirement over and above what we saw in the Data Protection Act.

David: And I've heard that people need to have a Data Protection Officer.  Is that the case for everyone?

Jocelyn: That's not the case for everyone.  At one point when the Regulations were in draft that was the way it looked, but now we have the final text.  There are three categories and if you fall into those then you will have to have a Data Protection Officer.

David: We were promised guidance on the GDPR, have we had any of that yet?

Jocelyn: To date yes we have had some both from the article 29 working party and from the ICO.  There's been three pieces from the article 29 working party last December around location of lead supervisory authorities, Data Protection Officers and the right to data portability.  The ICO put out some guidance very quickly after the DGPR was published around initial steps organisations should look to take, a bit of an overview.  They updated the privacy notices guidance and very recently we have had a new draft set of guidance on consent and there is lots more guidance planned from both the article 29 working party and the ICO over the course of 2017 although neither have committed to any actual dates when we can expect to see that. 

David: So maybe I should hang on then and wait for the rest of the guidance to come out?

Jocelyn: And certainly that was the feeling in May last year when the Regulations were published, there was an acknowledgement that lots of guidance would be necessary.  I think though the speed or lack of speed with which we have seen the guidance come out is telling us that it's not going to be enough for organisations to hang on and wait for that guidance.  Preparation for GDPR compliance will take some time and there's lots of things organisations can and should be doing in advance of May next year, even in the absence of guidance.

David: Okay so you've persuaded me that I need to take this seriously I need to start doing something, so what should I be doing?

Jocelyn: The first step that's absolutely critical is to create a data map of the data in your organisation.  So what I mean by that is understanding what data you're processing.  Where has it come from?  Where does it go to?  What third parties are involved in that processing?  Which jurisdictions is the data in?  Why are you processing it?  Building up that factual context so that you can then apply the principles of GDPR to the data within your organisation. 

David: Okay so I map my data so I've got a better feel for what data we have and how it's moving and who it's going to...then what?

Jocelyn: So then it's a case of looking at what you have and seeing how the GDPR applies to that and also in the context of your organisation's current level of compliance.  Because this new principle of accountability the Regulations bring in mean, that you will need corporate buy-in to that compliance.  So if you can go to your board and show you understand what data you have when you process and you can see where the gaps are to achieving compliance,  you can then work with the board's blessing and engagement having provided some budget and resources for you to come up with an action plan that will see you through to May next year so you know the steps you need to take.

David: And what's the best way of approaching the board?  Scare them to death?

Jocelyn: We have seen that tactic used.  I'm sure the regulators would prefer organisations to take a much more positive approach, to see this as an opportunity to build trust and good consumer communications with your customer base.  The thinking being that at the moment I think the ICO survey says 75% of adults in the UK don't trust businesses with their data and that's the position the ICO would really like to change.  So they want to see organisations using this as an opportunity to talk to their customers, so that customers understand what that organisation is going to do to their data and that becomes a much healthier two-way relationship.  So the business benefits from getting more data from their customers and the business can then offer a better service to those customers. 

David: So it sounds like probably best for the board to say although it has a positive side to laying out the benefits to building trust or around the trusted brands but then also pointing out the downside which is not just the fines is it?

Jocelyn: No it's not just the fines there is still the naming and shaming and reputation harming.  I think what we've seen recently is that people do take notice of when breaches occur and they do see privacy as something that speaks to a company's brand and how they perceive it and how they want to engage with it and will make decisions based on that level of trust that they have in those brands. 

David: Talking of breaches, am I right in thinking that you can't just sort of dust them under the carpet anymore in the hope that nobody notices?

Jocelyn: Yes that's right, mandatory breach notification is one of the changes with the GDPR so you will have to notify the Regulator you've nominated as your lead supervisory authority within 72 hours of becoming aware of those breaches and potentially you may have to notify individuals as well depending on the nature of the data that has been accessed and the likelihood that that release of data could cause harm in the wrong hands.

David: Okay so you've done your data map, been to the board and you've seen the stakeholders, got agreements to commit the resource and so forth that you are going to need.  What do you do next?

Jocelyn: So next I think comes a strategic planning stage, understanding all factual context, you are going to need to make some decisions that are going run across the organisation and influence what and how your compliance looks like, so you need to undertake a risk based assessment to see given the context of our processing and some of the freedom allowed in the regulation for you to determine what level of security is appropriate for example, make decisions around that.  There's some corporate governance level decisions as well around do we need a DPO or even if you don't need a Data Protection Officer, do you want to appoint one in any event?  Because that speaks to your organisation's approach to privacy.  Similarly with things like privacy notices given that the requirements are now to deliver so much more information but to balance that by delivering it in a way that is concise and easily understood by people you need to make a decision as to how your organisation is going to manage that. 

David: So I've got my strategy but I better sit down and actually do something now.  Is that just knocking up a privacy notice?

Jocelyn: That would be one step, but obviously there's lots of practical aspects to the actual detailed implementation, so you will have your privacy notices, you will have all your internal policies that you use with your employees and your suppliers.  There's tools like the privacy impact assessments that are now mandatory in certain circumstances under the GDPR, so setting up the form that the PIA will take and educating people in the organisation who will have to complete them as to what they are, how they need to complete them.  You will need to roll out new training across your organisation to make sure people understand what the new obligations are in the GDPR and what they look like because there are a number of quite fiddly, tweaky changes under things like the data subject access right, the way that process works, the removal of the £10 fee, the shortening of the timescales to respond.  So there's a lot of work needs to go into making sure your workforce has engaged with the changes that have come about. 

David: But do I really need to both with any of this?  Brexit – we're going to come out of the EU, data protection is all EU laws.  Do I need to worry about it?

Jocelyn: Yes you do for a few reasons.  First of all I've talked about 25 May 2018 and we now know for sure that the UK will not have left the European Union at that date.  The ICO has confirmed that it will come into force in this country and will remain law by virtue of the Great Repeal Bill.  I think what will be more interesting to see is what happens beyond the Brexit date.  The Information Commissioner has come out and said that it makes a lot of sense for the UK standards to continue to align to those of Europe, recognising that the vast majority of businesses if not operating themselves across Europe, are still serving individuals based in the European Union.  So by virtue of the extra territorial effect of the Regulations you will have to comply with them anyway.  And also from the point of view of international transfers it will be much easier for the UK to get a finding of adequacy if our standards are aligned to those of Europe so that companies don't have to go putting in place standard model clauses every time they are transferring information from outside the EU into the UK.

David: Okay yeah.  And then of course with the Great Repeal Bill saying that they are going to freeze European Regulations and stick it into UK law at that time, that's all reasons to suggest that the safest thing for UK businesses to do is to assume that we are going to have data protection law for some time to come?

Jocelyn: Certainly yes I think from May next year we can expect to see the ICO looking to enforce the GDPR in the UK.  I expect that the ICO will continue in the way  they have operated in the past when it comes to fines and the punitive regime, which is to enforce the GDPR, but not looking to make an example of companies.  Ultimately the Regulator's aim is to encourage compliance and whilst the language of the Regulations does talk about fines being dissuasive to encourage organisations to take it seriously and comply, I expect that they will want to work with the organisations to see that they achieve that level of compliance rather than go around slapping fines to make a point.

David: So if there's one top tip for a General Counsel on this area what would it be?

Jocelyn: I think to start that data mapping process, to understand what your landscape looks like, so that you can start to assess the risks and put in place your compliance plan.

David: Thank you Joss.

Jocelyn: Thanks.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
19 Sep 2019, Seminar, Birmingham, UK

Providing GCs, Heads of Legal and senior in-house lawyers with timely, topical and practical legal advice on a variety of topics.

26 Sep 2019, Seminar, London, UK

Providing GCs, Heads of Legal and senior in-house lawyers with timely, topical and practical legal advice on a variety of topics.

8 Oct 2019, Seminar, Birmingham, UK

Supporting the development of paralegals, trainees and lawyers of up to five years' PQE by providing valuable knowledge and guidance together with practical tips.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions