The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

We’re taking steps to prepare for the introduction of the GDPR on 25 May 2018.

What is GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an important data protection regulation change, which was decided by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission with the intention of strengthening and unifying data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The GDPR replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 and will come into effect on 25 May 2018. All companies processing personal data residing within the EU must comply.

Why the change

The changes are due to the current digital age in which we live in and the growth of the internet, including social media and the cloud. The GDPR sets out a new legal framework within the EU to update privacy standards to address these new technologies. Allowing data subjects much more control over their own personal data, organisations must ensure systems facilitate the processing of personal data for data subjects.

Key changes

The GDPR includes several changes:

  • The scope of the law now extends to controllers and processors who reside outside the EU but process EU citizen person data.
  • Organisations in breach of GDPR will now fall under the new penalty regime with fines up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater.
  • Data subject rights are enhanced; examples include:
    • The ‘Right to Access’: the right to obtain confirmation from data controllers as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed.
    • ‘The Right to be Forgotten’, which is also known as Data Erasure: the right to personal data being erased and forgotten by data controllers.
    • ‘Data Portability’: the right for data subjects to have their data transmitted from one controller to another.
  • Consent changes include:
    • Consent has shifted to explicit consent with the requirement for consent to be provided for each purpose of processing.
    • Data controllers must keep records of consent and the context it was provided.
    • Consent should be easily withdrawn as it is given.
    • Blanket or generic consent is no longer considered consent with consent being specific and informed.

BREXIT

There is a large degree of uncertainty surrounding the exit negotiations and the terms that will be agreed once the UK leaves the EU.

The Data Protection Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 13 September 2017 with the intention of making data protection laws fit for the digital age in which we live. With the increasing amount of data being processed this bill will empower people to take control of their data. Support UK businesses and organisations whilst ensuring the UK is prepared for the future after we leave the EU.

Our commitment

Healthcare Gateway Limited are committed to ensuring the security and protection of the data that we process, and to provide a compliant and consistent approach to data protection. We have always had a robust and effective data protection program in place which complies with existing law and abides by the data protection principles. However, we recognise our obligations in updating and expanding this program to meet the demands of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Healthcare Gateway Limited are dedicated to safeguarding the data that we process by ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of that data. We maintain appropriate technical and organisational security measures to protect data against accidental or unlawful destruction, alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access, which is recognised by our compliance with the ISO 27001 for Information Security Management Systems and ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems.

Our preparation and objectives for GDPR compliance have been summarised in this statement and include the development and implementation of new data protection roles, policies, procedures, controls and measures to ensure maximum and ongoing compliance.

How we are preparing for the GDPR

Healthcare Gateway Limited already have a consistent level of data protection and security across our organisation, however it is our aim to expand on this taking into account the changes GDPR brings. Our preparations include: –

  • Information audit – carrying out a company-wide information audit to identify and assess what personal information we hold, where it comes from, how and why it is processed and if and to whom it is disclosed.
  • Policies & procedures – data protection policies and procedures to meet the requirements and standards of the GDPR and any relevant data protection laws, including: –
    • Data protection – our main policy for data protection has been revised and updated to outline the standards and requirements of GDPR. Accountability and governance measures are also in place to ensure we adequately disseminate our obligations and responsibilities.
    • Data breaches – our breach procedures ensure that we have safeguards and measures in place to identify, assess, investigate and report any personal data breach at the earliest possible time. Our procedures are robust and have been disseminated to all employees, making them aware of the reporting lines and steps to follow.
    • Subject access request (SAR) – we have updated our SAR procedure to accommodate the revised 30-day timeframe for providing the requested information and for making this provision free of charge. Our new procedures detail how to verify the data subject, what steps to take for processing an access request, what exemptions apply and to ensure that communications with data subjects are compliant, consistent and adequate.
    • Data protection impact assessments (DPIA) – where we process personal information that is considered high risk to individual’s interests, involves large scale processing or includes special category/criminal conviction data; we have developed procedures which systematically analyse, identify and minimize the data protection risks.
  • Lawful basis for processing – we have investigated into how we share data, the overall impact GDPR will have on our data sharing agreements and ensured processing requirements are accountable and transparent and meet what has been set out in Article 6 of the GDPR.
  • Privacy notice – we are revising and updating our Privacy Notice to comply with the GDPR, ensuring that all individuals whose personal information we process have been informed of why we need it, how it is used, what their rights are, who the information is disclosed to (if any) and what safeguarding measures are in place to protect their information.
  • Cookie policy – we are revising and updating our Cookie Policy alongside our Privacy Notice to ensure all individuals who access our website understand what cookies we use, why we use them and how they are used.
  • Direct marketing – we have reviewed the processes for direct marketing, including clear opt-in mechanisms for marketing subscriptions; a clear notice and method for opting out and providing unsubscribe features on all subsequent marketing materials.
  • Contracts – where we hold a contract with a customer (data controller) for processing of personal data we are reviewing and updating all of our agreements to ensure compliance

Data subject rights

There has been significant enhancements to the rights of individuals and to ensure we work with our customers for whom we process personal data we will determine how best to facilitate these rights, for example;

  • The right to access, which is more commonly referred to as a subject access request.
  • The right to request erasure of personal data (where applicable)
  • The right to restrict processing in accordance with data protection laws
  • The right to object (direct marketing).

Information security

Healthcare Gateway Limited takes the privacy and security of individuals and their personal information very seriously and take every reasonable measure and precaution to protect and secure the personal data that we process. We have robust information security policies and procedures in place to protect personal information from unauthorised access, alteration, disclosure or destruction. This is supported by our continually commitment to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certifications.

GDPR roles and employees

Healthcare Gateway Limited have appointed a Data Protection Officer whose responsibility it is to promote awareness of the GDPR across the organisation, assess our GDPR readiness and to identify any gap areas and implementing the new policies, procedures and measures required.

Healthcare Gateway Limited understands that continuous employee awareness and understanding is vital to the continued compliance of the GDPR and have involved our employees in our preparation plans.

If you have any questions about our preparation for the GDPR, please email;

enquiries@healthcaregateway.co.uk