From next year, data protection laws will get a whole lot stricter, but Appco Group UK is already focused on making sure privacy is a priority.
The new rules are aimed at giving people more control over their personal information, including requiring companies to detail more explicitly what data is used for and giving individuals the right to ask for their data to be deleted. Appco UK welcomes these changes as an opportunity to improve its processes even further.
“Basically, this is a chance for companies and charities to do some really good housekeeping,” says Appco UK Director of Operations Graham Bunce.
“Every business and charity is going to be more accountable for the information they hold, so it’s important to make sure they know exactly what information they have and for what purposes it’s being used.
“We’re ensuring we are doing that at the moment, and we’re also making sure the systems we have are as secure as possible.”
But this is hardly a new project; Appco UK has been working with Microsoft and its partners for some time to regularly assess the company’s security.
For Appco UK staff, more training is being planned around the issues of data protection and GDPR, so that everyone is clear on the new laws before they come into play next May.
Data protection changes: crucial for customers, donors and companies
“Consumers and donors want to know that when they hand over their information it’s safe. If a business or charity can’t get that right, then it makes sense that customers and donors will take their business elsewhere,” Graham says.
“For us, collecting data every day is what we do. If we don’t get it right, we lose credibility.”
But this is not a situation unique to the charity sector, says Graham. The new regulations – and, in fact, data protection in general – are proving a major challenge for small businesses.
“There is a feeling within the charity sector, particularly among smaller charities, that they are in a minority in facing the challenge of GDPR implementation,” Graham says.
“But a recent Ipsos Mori survey highlighted that 84% of UK small businesses are unaware of GDPR. Many do not have the breadth of knowledge or resources when it comes to building awareness and understanding of the plethora of legal obligations that sit behind GDPR.
“Whether you operate in the commercial or charity sector, preparing for GDPR is a challenge, but one that is crucial to meet head on – and we are doing everything we can to make sure that’s exactly what happens at Appco UK.”