With the impending implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requiring businesses to increase their focus in this area, Collas Crill has joined with a number of leading service providers to form the Association of Data Protection Officers (ADPO) to support local industry.
GDPR, which takes effect in May 2018, will see a major overhaul of Europe's, and as a consequence Guernsey's, data protection legislation that will impact all local businesses.
With a focus on personal data, the GDPR will see an increased need for obligations, particularly around securing personal data, the reporting of personal data breaches and the handling of requests by rights for individuals in accordance with their (soon to be enhanced) rights.
Chaired by Christopher Jehan, managing director of Midshore Consulting, the initial committee consists of Collas Crill group partner Wayne Atkinson, managing director of Business IT Services Grant Hamilton and KPMG information risk manager Matej Jurkić. Further committee members, from various industries on the island, will be added as the ADPO grows.
The ADPO will host a range of seminars, meetings and conferences to provide a greater understanding of the new legislation, which aims to strike a balance between the protection of individuals' personal data with the free movement of data in the markets.
Wayne said: "Technology has shaped the modern concept of privacy and the legislation is changing to reflect this. While the exact regulatory framework remains to be settled at this stage, the changes will be significant and effect almost all local businesses, with the onus being on accountability.
"Whatever industry you're in, the GDPR will likely have an effect so the ADPO is a great opportunity to better understand the legal, technical and operational changes that will be necessary going forward."
Christopher said: "We have set up the ADPO to educate local industries on the forthcoming changes and assist them in ensuring that they have the correct systems in place to comply with the new law and protect them from potential breaches.
"The GDPR is not just an issue for the financial services industry and compliance practitioners – it's an issue for all industries and all departments that come into contact with personal data, and we envisage having sub-committees relating to specific industries. We encourage anyone to join the ADPO and share knowledge."
Emma Martins, Data Protection/Information Commissioner for the Channel Islands, said: “Data Protection is increasingly important for business and government. With the imminent reform of the data protection legislation due in 2018, I welcome the formation of an association dedicated to this crucial area.
"In my experience, effective data protection officers can transform the manner in which businesses engage with their duties in this area. This forum will allow those working in data protection to prepare effectively for the changes ahead and share their experiences. I very much look forward to working with the group going forward.”
The ADPO will be hosting a launch event on Wednesday 17 May at 12.30pm at the Digital Greenhouse. Membership will be an annual fee of £50.