GDPR – Arriving this month

Posted on: 17 May 2018
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This month our Information and IT Security Officer, Graeme Wolfe, revisits the GDPR legislation and explains all those emails and other messages you will have been receiving over the past month or so, with GDPR in the subject heading. But also warns to be alert for scammers who will take advantage of the impending deadline and changes in procedures.

Back in June last year I wrote a blog article about the upcoming GDPR and this month (25th May) sees it going ‘live’ in terms of enforcement.

You may have seen items on the news or in the media generally about these new data regulations. You may well also have received a number of emails, or update notifications in apps, from various companies asking if you can confirm that you still wish to receive information from them. You will also have received an email from John Cappock, The University’s Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, regarding our push to be compliant with GDPR.

Effectively, if a company wants to hold personal information about you, it has to have a legal basis to do so and it can’t just hold onto data because it feels like it. It must have a good reason to do so, or it should delete the data.

This should bring an end to the practices of ‘pre ticked boxes’ for the receipt of unwanted messages ad infinitum, or ‘if you want to opt out of being mailed to, then please jump through all these hoops and find the hidden link to unsubscribe from our mailing list’. See the ICO pages for a clear definition of this.

So, many companies who hold personal data you have previously shared with them, will be contacting you to ask if they can retain your information as a customer, which you may or may not wish to continue to do. But it is also an opportunity for scammers to send out messages asking you to ‘reconfirm’ or ‘re-enter’ your login or other personal details, under the guise of the new GDPR regulation. With a deadline looming and the increased awareness thought the media, it’s an ideal time for scammers to try to panic people into taking actions they would not normally do.

So keep an eye out for emails or ‘in app’ messages, that may look like they come from a known company, but don’t, asking for lots of information about you, or getting you to enter personal information somewhere.

For more help on spotting scam emails, see the pages on our public web site or look on the ICO web site for more GDPR assistance.

Graeme Wolfe

Information and IT Security Officer

16/05/2018