General Data Protection Regulation

Just 6% Of Irish Business Are At An Advanced Stage Of GDPR Planning

With the new European Union General Data Protection Regulations due to come into force in May 2018, a new survey has been carried out by Data Sec 2017 to look at whether businesses in Ireland are prepared for the new regulations. Taking place at Dublin’s RDS Concert Hall on 3 May 2017, the event is designed to provide organisations attending insight, information and guidance on how the new General Data Protection Regulations will affect them as well as helping them get the most out of them.

The survey, published this week has revealed worrying statistics that show just 6% of Irish businesses are at an advanced stage in planning for the implementation of GDPR. With GDPR coming in May 2018, that leaves 94% of Irish businesses with an awful lot of work to do to ensure that they are compliant. 75% of Irish businesses are aware of the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulations but 40% are still not doing anything to ensure they are compliant by May 2018. Only 50% have actually given the task of compliance to a specific staff member, a vital step is compliance is going to be achieved.

Failure to ensure compliance by May 2018 could see organisations facing fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater. As well as the financial cost, there is the reputational damage that can be done to an organisation. Failure to properly handle customer data can be severely harmful to any organisation or business.

Daragh O Brien, MD of information governance company Castlebridge, said if organisations are not at an advanced stage of preparation they “should accept that you will almost certainly not be fully compliant in time”, as organisational change on how to handle consumer data will take time, but that they should move quickly to minimise their risk.

“This is not a case of changing some software, it is a cultural change within your organisation – it is people, it is work practices and it is documenting those work practices, and identifying and managing risks. What you should begin by doing is auditing your current work practices and start by addressing the most immediate risks,” he added.

Tickets for the Data Sec event are still available and attendees can enjoy talks from some of the leading authorities on data security including:

  • Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner for Ireland
  • Lorcan McLoughlin, Privacy Officer @ Rabobank
  • Emerald de Leeuw, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Comply GDPR Software
  • Joseph Carson, Cyber Security Strategist
  • Fred Logue, Information Law Specialist
  • Jonathan Armstrong, Compliance and Technology Lawyer
  • Ronan Davy, Senior International Counsel, Etsy
  • Mark Adair, Lawyer @ Mason, Hayes & Curran
  • Tomi Mikkonen, Data Protection Specialist
  • Daragh O’Brien, Founder of Castlebridge
  • Stephen Laffan, Workday Global Privacy Program Manager
  • Pauline Walley, Criminal and Internet Counsel
  • Adrian Weckler, the Technology Editor at Independent News and Media

For more information on the Data Sec 2017 event, go to

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