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Data Protection Act: What is It & Does It Impact Business?

One of the biggest topics in the business world in recent years has been the data protection act and it is one which every business owner needs to have a strong understanding of. It has been a large topic in recent times because of the rise of cybercrime and changes that were made in 2018 which outline how personal information is used by organisations, businesses and the government.

Data Protection

Data protection applies to every single business no matter the industry or size of the company. This is because as a business you will store other people’s personal information one way or another, including both employees and customers/clients. This data is likely to include names, addresses, card details, phone numbers, email addresses, card details and even photographs.

The Protection Act

Every business must comply with the legal requirements for storing business information so that the data is protected and secure. Failure to comply with the data protection law could result in fines up to £500,000 or time in prison so it is absolutely vital that you take steps to make sure that you comply with the Data Protection Act particularly as it was changed in 2018.


This means following a strict set of rules that are called “data protection principles”. These ensure that data is used fairly, lawfully and transparently and used for a specified, explicit purpose and kept for no longer than is necessary amongst other principles. Additionally, there is stronger legal protection in place for more sensitive data, such as race, political opinions, sexuality, health and trade union membership.


The Data Protection Act is a large and wide-ranging piece of legislation with many conditions and exemptions so it can be challenging to know how to make sure that your company complies. It is important to establish a data protection policy to ensure legal obligations are met and you will also need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who are the body for enforcing the Act. Registration means that your company will appear on a list where consumers are able to see the nature of your business and what you use personal data for.

Additionally, it is worth consulting with risk advisory specialists who can advise you on issues related to data protection to make sure that you are operating above board and advise on how to handle any issues that arise.

Data protection is a huge topic in the business world and an area that every business owner needs to carefully consider. Data is a huge part of modern-day business but you must make sure that you are handling any data properly and complying with the Data Protection Act. This will help you to protect your business, employees and your customers at all times.




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