ByrneWallace host GDPR conference to assist SMEs and public sector bodies prepare for the changeWednesday, 11 October 2017
How to get GDPR-ready” was the main topic for discussion at a conference hosted by ByrneWallace in their offices on Thursday, 5 October.
Over 100 CEOs, directors and business professionals representing some of Ireland's leading indigenous and international companies, financial institutions, and state and public sector bodies attended the event, and heard a panel of industry and legal experts discuss the changing regulatory landscape under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and provide practical guidance on how to adapt to the change.
Speakers included John Keyes, Assistant Commissioner - Investigations from the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner; Paul Hogan, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ward Solutions; and Seán O’Donnell, Partner and Head of Corporate Crime, Regulatory Investigations & Enforcement at ByrneWallace.
“As the first large Irish law firm certified with ISO 27001, ByrneWallace has a unique understanding of the challenges organisations face in relation to data security, cybercrime and the onerous task of ensuring future compliance with the GDPR,” said Seán O’Donnell from ByrneWallace.
“The introduction of the new GDPR, on the 25 May 2018, will herald a new era in data protection regulation for Irish companies and state bodies. It will require a fundamental change in the mind set and behaviours of organisations in relation to how they manage personal data.
In less than 10 months, all Irish businesses will face new rules in relation to how they manage personal data. More significantly, all companies will face the possibility of more onerous financial penalties and fines for non-compliance and breaches – with potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is the greater.
Seán added, “Many businesses however have not yet started to prepare. Recent research in the UK shows that over half the SMEs surveyed are not aware of GDPR. While many companies have it on their agenda, they may not yet have taken the necessary steps to address it within their organisations.
“Businesses need to understand how the regulations will impact upon them. But more importantly, they should be acting now to prepare for the commencement date.”
ByrneWallace are currently dealing with a high volume of queries from clients regarding GDPR, ranging from employment queries to contractual issues.
To assist organisations in their preparations, ByrneWallace have established a dedicated multi-disciplinary team comprised of lawyers with expertise in all areas of law and with experience advising clients on the area of data protection. The team are supporting clients across a number of areas, ranging from -
• Review of your policies and procedures
• Advice on the appointment and the duties of a Data Protection Officer
• Reviewing and re-drafting data processing contracts
• Identification of categories of personal data and data processing activities
• Training for your organisation
• Gap analysis of your systems and controls
• Advice on reporting obligations
• Liaison with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner
“Our focus is on preparing clients to achieve compliance with their obligations under the GDPR,” said Seán. “Undertaking a gap analysis is one of the first and most effective steps to take. This involves reviewing how the organisation processes data, what type of data it processes, consideration of current policies, procedures and contracts, and benchmarking these against the requirements of the GDPR.”
Pictured at the event (L:R) conference speakers – Seán O’Donnell, Partner Corporate Crime, Regulatory Investigations & Enforcement at ByrneWallace; Paul Hogan, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ward Solutions; and John Keyes, Assistant Commissioner - Investigations, Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.