OSJCT's Chief Technology Officer Rob Collyer shares his views on GDPR.

Data is a valuable resource, today we find ourselves in a data rush just like the oil and gold rushes before it. The 1900s were all about drilling for oil and natural gas whereas the last decade has been all about mining data. Your personal information, your likes and dislikes, your behaviours and even your habits are being mined through digital channels such as social media, store cards, travel systems, even down to the websites you visit and what you purchase online.

Enterprises around the world have realised the value of data. New algorithms are being created to search this data for patterns, trends and hidden nuances to understand how better they can understand you and ultimately how better to sell to you.

So, before we tick those boxes to say “yes, you can use my data” we should all understand what is being collected and for what purpose and only give consent if we agree – you can say no!

On the 25th May 2018 Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in the UK and throughout Europe. It is the largest shake up of data and privacy laws since 1998, so in a world that is relying more and more on data as a commodity, it is a very welcomed change.

In my opinion the GDPR is a fantastic step in the right direction to making our information and data more secure and safer, below are some reasons why:

  • Explicit Consent – GDPR requires businesses to ensure that their customers provide explicit consent for the use of their data, business now have to be specific and granular so that consent is gained for separate things, it’s no longer enough for vague or blanket consent statements.
  • Privacy Notices – Businesses are required to be clear about what personal information is held, what they do or plan to do with it, how they store it and why they need it and if they share it. This ultimately means that individuals have much more knowledge about their personal information that is held within businesses.
  • Data Security – With Data breaches in the headlines daily, the GDPR will ensure businesses adopt better policies and practices for managing your customers and employees Data.
  • Data Reduction – As businesses review what can be deleted and what must be retained for compliance purposes, the data they hold they should inevitably reduce.

Here at The Orders of St John Care Trust we have been working hard to update our processes and working practices to ensure that we can continue to keep your data safe and secure. We see this as an opportunity to review what we are doing and how we do it.

Every day we put our residents first, ensuring they are cared for and looked after, to us this is exactly how we feel about your data. We will only collect the data we need to care and look after you, and when we have collected it we will ensure that it is looked after just as much as we do you!