This article was written by Youth Ambassador Lilley Deevey
Have you noticed that your inbox is full of ‘privacy notice updates’ or ‘Opt in NOW!’ messages and wondered what it’s all about? The answer… GDPR. Surprisingly urban dictionary doesn’t have a definition for GDPR yet so here’s a few questions answered and tips about what GDPR is and how it might affect you!
What is GDPR?
GDPR or ‘General Data Protection Regulations’ is a new EU law being introduced on May 25ththat states what employers and businesses can and can’t use your data for. There have always been laws about what companies could use data for but GDPR is a lot stricter!
What does this mean for information about me?
Companies can only keep information about you if you give them your consent. And even if you give consent for the company to have your information they can only use the information for exactly what you have given it for. This applies to any information about you… your name, your email address, even your pictures!
Which companies does this apply to?
GDPR applies to any companies or organisations who operate in the EU. Some companies will be affected more than others, but every company is making changes about how they use information.
What happens if a company uses my information without my consent?
Under GDPR regulations companies can be fined up to €20 million for using your data without your consent so it’s very serious!
What is going to happen now? And what do I need to do?
This week companies are frantically making sure that they have your consent for any information they already have about you (by sending out ‘opt in’ emails amongst other things!). GDPR is a huge new set of laws.
If, when you first signed up they didn’t have your consent you might find that companies are asking for you to do this again. If they don’t have consent from you to keep your information by the 25thMay they will need to permanently delete it. You might find that not every company is sending you these emails, some companies are being extra cautious but if you have contract with a company or you signed up and they are confident they fit all of the criteria you mind find you receive a note about new privacy or website terms instead – which is ok too!
All you need to do is make sure you opt in to any mailing lists you want to keep receiving information from, and read any updates to privacy statements you are sent. If you change your mind and want to opt in later you can do, but only if you give your consent!
GDPR also means you have the right to ask companies what information they hold on you and they should give you clear information on what they will be doing with your data.
- Find out more about being a Youth Ambassador and what the programme involves
- We ran a GDPR webinar for members, you can sign in and watch it here