The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is supporting Small Business Saturday by providing a range of dedicated products to help SMEs prepare for new data protection laws.

The annual event takes place this weekend and the ICO is keen to help celebrate and promote the contribution small enterprises make to the UK economy – while also offering additional advice and support on preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The new law will apply from 25 May 2018 but research has suggested the SME sector is less prepared than others for the changes, so the ICO has created the following package of resources and advice to help small businesses prepare for GDPR:

  • The ICO’s Guide to the GDPR, which includes links to all the advice and guidance that is currently available and which will be the first place to get the latest updates;
  • A Getting ready for the GDPR self help checklist which produces a bespoke report on what SMEs will need to do;
  • An FAQs document answering the questions that have been asked most often by SMEs; and
  • A dedicated GDPR preparation helpline for small organisations - 0303 123 1113, option 4.

In addition, the ICO also has a downloadable 12 steps to take now to prepare for GDPR graphic and has also published a series of blogs shattering some of the myths around the new legal regime.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said:

“A healthy and thriving small business sector benefits us all, and we should celebrate its contribution to the UK economy and society as a whole. People’s legal right to privacy doesn’t have to be the price of doing business and the ICO is here to help all organisations prepare for the GDPR, whatever their size.

“Good information handling makes good business sense. It can improve your reputation, increase customer and employee confidence and can save both time and money.”

 Notes to Editors 

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  1. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
  1. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new law that will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 and will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018. The government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.
  1. The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The ICO has the power to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
  1. Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:
  • fairly and lawfully processed;
  • processed for limited purposes;
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive;
  • accurate and up to date;
  • not kept for longer than is necessary;
  • processed in line with your rights;
  • secure; and
  • not transferred to other countries without adequate protection.
  1. Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. Many small businesses take part in the day by hosting events and offering discounts. The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.
  2. To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns/