As many will know the General Data Protection Regulation, more commonly known as GDPR, came into effect across the European Union on May 25th. This regulation was approved in 2016 by the European Union, European Commission and European Parliament to protect the private data of European citizens that is held by third parties.
Many of our accounts are filling up with emails and text messages asking us to confirm that we would like to continue receiving information from certain sources or if we want to opt out. These emails and text messages are mostly legitimate and the company contacting you is required to do this as they must definitively state that you have consented to have your information stored by them. Unfortunately there is concern that some of these emails and text messages are not legitimate and the process is being used as an opportunity to secure your data illegally. All anyone can do in this situation is be careful to check that you recognise the sender and if in doubt check it out or simply do not reply.
In the case of charities or voluntary groups it is important to show it has retained any personal data fairly, in other words, if asked the organisation must be transparent about where it got the information from. The organisation must also be in a position to explain that it is utilising any stored personal data in order to carry out its objectives .
RI strongly encourages members ito log onto the EU Data Protection site at https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection_en or go to the website of the office of data protection in your country to ensure you are well informed.
If you are not familiar with GDPR or you are confused by the amount of information online, do not panic. We at RI are happy to help by pointing you in the right direction and providing you the most appropriate advice.
If you have any questions you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org