Melksham Chamber, formerly Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, followed up its launch event in October with a seminar, held in the Coach House of The Kings Arms Hotel on the 28th November, on the new “General Data Protection Regulation”.
The “General Data Protection Regulation” is the most significant development in data protection that Europe, possibly the world, has seen over the past 20 years. Modern technologies have changed the way we work with data, and GDPR is designed to better control the way we work with personal data today, and are likely to work with it in the future. Penalties are considerably harsher than before and the compliance requirements are intended to spread a far wider net to include small and medium businesses and the third-party contractors they use. People like us, in other words.
You might well ask, since we are leaving the EU, why do we need to worry? Well firstly, as of 25th May 2018, when it becomes law, we will still be part of the EU; and secondly, the UK government has declared that the UK will retain as high a standard of regulation and enforcement after leaving the EU.
The seminar was hosted by Kieren Thomas, of Priority IT, based in Trowbridge, who advises his company’s own clients on how the regulations will affect them and how to put measures in place to ensure they comply with the new regulation before it comes into force.
Keiren began with the background to the new regulation, which updates the existing Data Protection Laws, and then went through the definitions of the various terms used in the regulation.
This was followed with the parts of the regulation which would affect the businesses and organisations in the room and how they need to start preparing i.e. Where and how is their data/information stored? Who has access? How is it accessed? etc.
Kieren then covered the procedures that need to be in place to comply with the regulation when it comes into force next May.
10 local businesses and organisations attended and the seminar concluded with a lively question and answer session to clarify individual points and for attendees to ask questions on particular aspects of their own companies.
Thanks to all those who attended and Melksham Chamber hope that you found the seminar useful and a good introduction to the “General Data Protection Regulation” and thank you to Keiren Thomas for giving up his time to host the seminar.
Following the seminar we’ve had a number of businesses saying, “Oh I saw that but wasn’t sure if it applied to me!”, or similar. If you are a business that keeps contact records, on paper or electronically, of clients, prospective clients, business contacts etc. then the legislation will affect you and you will need to comply. If there is sufficient demand Melksham Chamber is willing to organise a second presentation on GDPR in the New Year. Let us know (contact details below).
Melksham Chamber is planning regular events through 2018 –
• Seminars on relevant topics that affect our local businesses.
• Site visits hosted by local businesses to learn more about what they do and how they do it.
• Networking events and more.
We also run the “Melksham Chamber Forum” on Facebook – a place for Melksham area businesses to discuss relevant topics and issues that affect them, seek advice, advertise and share local knowledge.
The Chamber’s steering group/committee meets on a regular basis and anybody is welcome to attend.
For more details visit our website at www.melk shamchamber.co.uk
Finally Melksham Chamber would like to wish all their members and all Melksham businesses and community organisations a Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.
Contact: Phil McMullen, Secretary on melksham@ mail.com. Tel: 01225 707659. Facebook: Search for Melksham Chamber Forum www.melksham chamber.co.uk