The creation and use of data have become increasingly integral to the way that businesses work in the world today. From keeping records of customers with their addresses and contact details to using big data that is generated from website use to carry out data analysis, businesses are using data for everything from the day-to-day running of their operations, to using it to help them to make business decisions and sometimes selling it to third-parties.

Our personal and professional data has become a very valuable asset, and this is why data is prone to attackers and protection is such an important concept. The law believes that everyone has a fundamental right to privacy, and data protection rules are here to protect both this privacy and any issues that might occur as a result of a breach of this privacy such as identity or financial theft.

Data protection refers to the measures that are put in place to ensure that digital information is protected from attackers and businesses are protected from data loss.

Why is data protection important?

Businesses hold a wealth of information about people – their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for example. They can also hold information such as their bank information, health information, and internet habits. It goes without saying that some (if not all) of this information is sensitive and not what everyone would want to be shared or sold.

Data is generated not only when we become customers, but, in fact, almost every time that we engage with technology. Whether it is through devices and the Internet of Things, or each time you buy something, this data is being collected and often used to build a profile of you. Data protection strategies are in place to protect you and your data from hackers, as well as businesses from being left vulnerable as a result of a data attack.

For customers, being able to trust the businesses that they go to is essential. And having adequate data protection is a massive part of building this trust.

Who is responsible for data protection?

Anyone (including non-businesses) that collects information about people other than for personal, household, or family reasons, must comply with data protection regulations.

The regulations are set out in the Data Protection Act 2018. However, the rules change according to who you are. This is why businesses must be very careful about how they apply the rules and regulations.

The Data Protection Act of 2018 relies on the accountability principle. This means that businesses must be able to show how they are protecting data and be accountable for it, but, due to the fact that every organisation is different, this could be done in different ways. There is often more than one way that businesses can do this.

When it comes to the rules that you must stick to with regards to data protection and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), you will be categorised either as a:

Data controller – “the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data” – generally speaking, an entity that deals only with its own customers’ data, and most businesses are a data controller.

Data processor – “a natural person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller” – usually businesses that handle the data of their client’s customers such as outsourced marketing companies, and HR departments.

The law stipulates that every business must have an allocated Data Protection Officer. This officer has the responsibility to:

1. Ensure that the organisation and individual employees within it are aware of their obligation to comply with data protection laws and GDPR.

2. Monitor GDPR compliance, provide training, manage data protection activities, and advise of data protection impact assessments.

3. Be the first port of call for individuals and authorities relating to GDPR.

How does data protection affect business?

The GDPR rules in 2018 have bought about massive changes in the way that businesses work, both in terms of their day-to-day use of an individual’s data, as well as other data that is generated through technology.

If your business deals with personal data, you should register with the Information commissioner’s Office (ICO), and it is them who will ensure that you are complying with the rules and regulations.

You should then ensure that you are familiar with the rules about how you handle people’s information and put the procedures in place to protect both them and your business.

Contact Waldrons solicitors

Whatever your family law query, get in touch with us here at Waldrons today.

Waldrons Data Protection Policy

Back to all Insights


Last reviewed on 11/07/23 by Joseph Norton who is an Associate Director and Solicitor