Thursday, 7 June 2018

'Your Data Matters' and the Era of GDPR


The government has been working with the tech sector over the last two years to prepare for the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Now that the regulations are in full force, the government is turning its attention to educating consumers about what it all means; thus they want to introduce you to the 'Your Data Matters' campaign.

Those familiar with the GDPR know that the new rules are the domain of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), a government organisation that played a vital role in developing the rules. Under the GDPR, people have more control over how their personal data is used, stored and shared by organisations they encounter online.

Unfortunately, implementation of the GDPR did not involve a whole lot of effort to educate people about how they can exercise greater control. That's what the “Your Data Matters” campaign is all about. According to the ICO, the campaign is a "collaborative public information campaign" that combines both government and private sector resources.

Understanding Your Rights under the Law


In announcing the “Your Data Matters” campaign, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham explained that we all leave behind a digital trail every time we go online. Whether we are transacting business with a private sector company or keeping in touch with family members and friends on social media, the digital trail is lengthened with every online interaction.

"We know that sharing our data safely and efficiently can make our lives easier, but that digital trail is valuable. It’s important that it stays safe and is only used in ways that people would expect and can control," Denham said.

According to an official ICO news bulletin, the government agency is now collaborating with a number of public and private sector organisations to produce educational materials for the “Your Data Matters” campaign. Participating organisations can distribute the materials to their customers.

The ICO has also gone social by launching a new Twitter account to go along with its existing @ICOnews account. The new account is @YourDataMatters. The public is being advised to follow the new account to keep up with all the latest information about GDPR and its associated educational campaign.

It's Now in Our Hands


We will probably look back on implementation of the GDPR and decide it has been a good thing. Hopefully we will have the same assessment of “Your Data Matters” but, right now, it is in our hands. The government has implemented new regulations designed to protect us and the data trail we leave behind. They have given us the opportunity to educate ourselves about how we can exercise our rights under the GDPR. Now we have to make the most of the opportunities given.

If there is one thing that organisations know, it's the fact that the best protection against data misuse is an army of vigilant consumers who know and exercise their rights. If the GDPR is going to work, it will require all of us to do just that.