…says JUDr. Ji?í Navrátil, Personal Data Protection Specialist, long-time member of The Office for Personal Data Protection (ÚOOÚ) Disorganization Committee and lecturer of the Czech Bar Association in administrative management and personal data protection.
To what extent do you think businesses are prepared to meet the EU Data Protection Regulation?
“In my experience, the readiness of the business sector for GDPR is still very poor. It will be very difficult to meet the GDPR requirements by May 2018, when this EU regulation comes into force, unless the preparation starts as soon as possible. Yet the consequences could be very serious. It is not just the extraordinarily high fines of up to tens of millions euro, but it is mainly the ban on the processing of personal data that the postponers can expect. This would virtually paralyze their business activities.”
Aren’t the media overstating – trying to point out the need for a solution – when presenting the GDPR as a specter?
“On the contrary. I think the media are not overstating enough. First and foremost, they insufficiently explain the nature of the GDPR and the steps the business sector must adopt. Much is written and talked about the amount of fines, but less about how little time is left and how extensive action we have to take to be ready for GDPR in time. What is totally neglected is the explanation of how important it is for the business sector to protect personal data from the point of view of securing their confidential information.”
Will GDPR contribute to making citizens more aware of their rights to personal data and better understanding how businesses use them for sales and marketing?
“I think that the issue of personal data protection is slowly getting into the public awareness thanks to GDPR. I would compare the issue of personal data protection to health and safety at work. A hundred years ago, both employers and employees were not very interested in this issue and workplace death was nothing special. Due to legal regulations that have come into force over time – sometimes despite some resistance from employees – tragic occupational injuries are now quite exceptional. A similar development awaits the personal data protection. Today, only few people know what’s happening to their personal data, where they can be found, or who’s got access to them. Yet the identity of a citizen can be “stolen” even to commit a crime. That is why I think that people will become more aware of the importance of personal data and will handle their rights better.”
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