You’ll no doubt have already heard the four letters which are going to be high on the Party’s agenda in 2018.
GDPR, or more wordily known as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations are being brought into British law disguised as the UK Data Protection Bill by the Brexit obsessed Tories.
GDPR represents a huge challenge to the Party and means we must meet higher standards in how we gather, store and use information.
There will also be a need to thoroughly vet the suppliers and systems providers we use to ensure they meet the standards as well.
Preparations must be made by Friday 25th May 2018 when the legislation comes into force. There is no interim stage, and we cannot wait until after the Local Elections to get the ball rolling.
Putting a big enough foot wrong could lead to substantial fines, as in truly substantial fines up to €20,000,000.
Simply put the Party cannot afford to get this wrong.
To help do this a dedicated project team has been set-up at LDHQ with expertise drawn in from across the Party. The Project team will be focusing on a number of key areas;
- Identifying all the places we gather, store and use data
- Building greater understanding of the privacy implications of how we use data
- Identifying what data we can continue to use and for how long
- Preparing detailed best practice guidelines and Data Protection Policies
- Busting myths around GDPR, from “we have to delete all data” to “it does not affect us”.
- Developing an in-depth training plan
- Providing comprehensive communications throughout
Our next step is to launch a comprehensive audit of the data being held across every level of the Party.
Following this, detailed guidance will be coming out of Lib Dem HQ which will help to tackle the tough questions.
While the challenge is a big one, it is also a big opportunity to sell the Lib Dem message in a new way.
We can also use this as a chance to make the information held by the Party more accurate and effective than ever before.
It is also good to remember that this is going to be affecting all political parties, not just ours, and gives us the opportunity to be on a more level playing field.
One thing we would ask is that if you are contacted by the Project team please do your best to help them and listen to the advice we are giving.
The guidance we provide will have been double checked by legal advisors. The risk posed the future of the Lib Dems by any fine means GDPR is not an issue anyone can afford to ignore.