GDPR helpline seeks to support small businesses

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has confirmed that it will launch a specialist telephone service to help small businesses get to grips with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The new legislation, which will take effect on 25 May 2018, will bring with it a number of important yet confusing changes affecting businesses and individuals alike.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and microbusinesses will need to ensure that they are fully compliant with the new legislation, which may mean a complex overhaul of the ways in which they collect, store and process data.

Businesses will also need to ensure that they have appropriate cyber security measures in place in order to ensure they are not affected by data breaches – which could potentially result in large fines under the new rules.

The ICO has said that it will launch its new telephone service on 1 November 2017, which will accompany its existing ‘SME Toolkit’.

Speaking in recent days, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, said: “There are 5.4 million businesses in the UK that employ fewer than 250 people. When it comes to data protection, surveys show they tend to be less well prepared.

“The businesses may be small but they still hold important personal information and the need to gain the trust of their customers is just as real,” she warned.

Previously, research published in September revealed that almost a third (30 per cent) of UK SMEs were unprepared for the introduction of the GDPR.