Data Protection Commissioner warns Irish organisations to get GDPR ready

Recent surveys and news articles have suggested that many Irish organisations are not aware of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), let alone ready to address some of the key requirements of the Regulation.

A leading Irish IT expert recently commented that Irish companies and organisations are “woefully unprepared” for the GDPR, which comes into effect in May 2018. Ronan Murphy, chief executive of the IT services firm Smarttech and chairman of IT@Cork, said the government must do more to help organisations become aware of the legislation.

The Irish government and Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) have promised to raise the level of awareness with a campaign in February and March, and will be pushing the message that the DPC will have far greater powers to enforce penalties from May 2018 on than it does at present.

The DPC, Helen Dixon, warned organisations in January that the GDPR will mean the end of business as usual.

“GDPR is a truly game-changing overhaul of European data protection laws that is going to impact every business, every individual and every member of public sector bodies in Europe.

“This means it is time for businesses, big and small across all sectors, to start preparing now.”

While May 2018 may seem a long way off, it is important for companies and organisations that collect or process personal data of EU residents to educate themselves now on the obligations and requirements of the Regulation. Ignoring the GDPR or getting compliance wrong could have costly repercussions.

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