GDPR Legislation: What Every Lawyer Should Know about Data Protection
posted on Mar 30, 2018
Exploring GDPR Legislation: The Good, the Bad and the Brexit
Is your law firm prepared for the GDPR Legislation? If not, you should consider getting prepared because if not, it may have a big impact on your law firm. The GDPR Legislation or General Data Protection Regulation takes official effect on the 25th of May 2018. There is no grace or turnover period following this. The GDPR Legislation involves new regulations and responsibilities on part of businesses in EU countries or companies that do business with companies in EU countries. It is for the purposes of individual data privacy. It is also to change the way businesses work with data of a private nature and coordinate European data privacy laws. If you do not comply with this new General Data Protection Regulation you will not be able to do business in EU countries. You could be fined a large amount or perhaps even 4% of your annual turnover. Now that we have a general understanding of this, let’s explore all facets of how the General Data Protection Regulation will affect you if you are a lawyer. The good, the bad and the Brexit.
Personal Injury Solicitors: I am a Lawyer. How Will the General Data Protection Regulation Affect Me?
It is the norm to start with the bad. Although, due to the general perspective of high stress that law firms, lawyers and perhaps personal injury solicitors are approaching the GDPR with, we thought we would take a bit of a walk outside of the norm today. Surprisingly, there is, as Lawyer Monthly puts forward, positives to this, where they claim, “At the same time, the introduction of GDPR will provide a real opportunity for many businesses. Although the initial focus may be on preparing to comply with the regulations, the purpose of GDPR is to harmonise data protection law across Europe, ultimately making it far easier to share data across borders.” As a law firm is a type of business, it may just reap the benefits of this as well. Therefore, the employees such as personal injury solicitors will benefit as well.
There are many concerns when it comes to the GDPR legislation and personal injury solicitors and here are just a few of them. As mentioned, if you do not comply with the regulations your firm can face harsh penalizations. Using e-discovery or data collection for the purpose of legal discovery will become difficult for personal injury solicitors or any type of lawyer. Lastly, the deadline is fast approaching and as there is no grace period following the deadline. Companies and law firms that have not already put systems in place are going to struggle to meet it.
And The Brexit
Good old Brexit. You throw this name into the works and it complicates everything. Well, in this case, it does not seem that much will change in terms of the GDPR legislation. This is because the UK government made the claim that they will put similar regulations in if they don not keep GDPR legislation past Brexit.
What You Can Do
Of course, the date is fast approaching. If you have not already implemented the following, it is perhaps time to get moving. It is recommended that you create a clear system of consent concerning your clients. You may need a Data Protection Officer (DPO). You should also do as much research as possible. Lastly, make sure that everyone in your law firm is in the know. This means all personal injury solicitors and every lawyer is included.
Of course, this is simply a crude summary. It is your responsibility to protect your law firm and lawyers by doing your research. You need to understand the GDPR legislation. Lastly, you need to make the necessary changes before the looming deadline.