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Data Protection Day 2024 — How your business can keep up with evolving regulations

AuthorsEleanore Beard

Data Protection Day 2024 How your business can keep up with evolving regulations

Every year, 28 January marks Data Protection Day. Intended to raise awareness of consumer rights under data protection and privacy legislation, Data Protection Day also serves as a reminder for organisations to assess and prioritise their data security and internal practices to ensure regulatory compliance and build trust with customers.

Here, Senior Associate and data protection law expert Eleanore Beard explains how the data protection landscape has changed and what businesses need to do to stay on top.


How has data protection evolved?

Recent years have seen the data protection landscape continually evolve, with the introduction of regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and various privacy laws globally, including (post-Brexit) the UK GDPR.

These regulations now set minimum standards for the collection, processing and storage of personal data — empowering individuals to have greater control over their information.

Last year, things developed further. In July 2023, the EU adopted its decision on the EU to US Data Privacy Framework. A few months later, the UK to US Data Bridge was approved as an extension to the Data Privacy Framework — providing a mechanism for businesses in the UK to transfer personal data to US businesses certified under the EU to US framework.

There are still concerns over this international transfer framework and further advice should always be sought for international transfers to ensure that the relevant protections are in place.

We also saw new data protection provisions like the Online Safety Act 2023 and other data protection initiatives being discussed, such as the regulation of AI — and there is no sign of this evolution slowing down.

The proposed new UK Data Protection and Digital Information Bill was debated in December 2023. Many believe that this is likely to start coming into UK law mid-2024 — so businesses need to prepare now.


How businesses should prepare

2023 saw an increase in public awareness around data protection, with individuals encouraged to take proactive steps to protect their privacy. This is likely to have played a role in the increased number of civil actions, claims and calls for class action lawsuits around data protection breaches.

To stay protected, businesses must implement robust data protection and cybersecurity measures, conduct regular audits and educate their people on correct data protection practices.

By prioritising privacy and staying informed about the evolving landscape of data protection, every business can contribute to a more secure and trustworthy digital world.

And while technological innovations can enhance security measures — such as encryption, biometrics and artificial intelligence — it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks and ethical considerations of failing to be compliant.


Need guidance? Talk to us

If you’re not sure where to start in terms of data protection, privacy and compliance, our experienced team can help.

With cost-effective and fixed-fee solutions, we can provide training and establish a compliant data privacy culture, implementing the principles of data protection and effective safeguarding.

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