Data Protection can often be the most challenging part of Data Management. According to Redman (Data Driven, Harvard Business Press, 2008) data concerns are growing as the volume of data we use is growing. “They [data concerns] stem from the exponentially increasing abilities of organisations to obtain, share and analyse data in new and perhaps threatening ways”. For many businesses it is a costly and at times restricting element of their operation. Finding the balance between staying safe and meeting the customer need can be a costly trade off.
The extent of data hacks, reports of lost and stolen data added to the often perceived burden of Data Protection. So what should you do to stay safe?
Start out with the Data Protection Commissioners Guide for Data Controllers (https://www.dataprotection.ie/docs/A-Guide-for-Data-Contollers/y/696.htm) and make sure you have a Data Protection Policy that aligns to the 8 rules for Data Protection.
Next up, you need to appoint a Data Protection Officer, a DPO. This person will need training, so check out the course run by either The Association of Data Protection Officers (www.dpo.ie) or the guys at Sytorus (www.sytorus.com). Or indeed many more that are available online and locally if you prefer. Rollout a communications plan to the wider team to ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities in upholding Data Protection.
But this is just a simple start. Depending on the complexity of your organisation, the range of data you are collecting and storing, you may well need a full audit, review and legal advice. It may well be the best insurance policy you ever take. While the cost of getting Data Protection right might seem expensive, its cheap compared with the cost of getting it wrong!
On a lighter note though there are a lot of events happening to mark Data Protection Day 2016 and one you might enjoy is the Trinity College and Science Gallery workshops, talks and exhibitions covering online security to picking locks! (www.dublin.sciencegallery.com/events)
Happy Data Protection Day 2016, we hope you all stay safe online!
28 January, 2016 by Tara Grehan