The GDPR Raises the Question: Why is Data Protection so Important?

We’ve all heard so much about the new General Data Protection Regulation in the weeks and months leading up to May 25th that it’s something of a relief to be past the deadline.
However, if you have not yet implemented your GDPR policy – IT IS NOT TOO LATE.

As an Early Years service provider, your responsibility to safeguard the data of your clients is particularly important. The GDPR enshrines this responsibility in law, but protecting personal data has always been of great urgency where families and children are involved. The GDPR just makes your responsibility explicit and helps ensure that you will be sure to have a detailed and structured policy around data protection. If you have already implemented your GDPR policy – well done and skip the rest of this paragraph. If still planning to do this, where to begin? The best next step is to get the GDPR Pack from the Early Years Shop. This pack was put together by Canavan Byrne to really make this process straightforward. It includes updated forms for child registration, employment application and employment contract as well as a policy document more than 50 pages long. This document is an excellent starting point to help you put together your own comprehensive policy for data protection. You will be guided through the process so that you can remove anything not relevant to your service, make any edits required and you will then have an excellent reference to share with staff and families.

The GDPR really embodies a new philosophy around personal data – that your personal data belongs to you and you alone, even when this data is used for your benefit to customise your online experience and you voluntarily share it with third parties. Historically, the collection of personal data has been a free-for-all and this is still mostly true around the world. Every day we click “OK” to complicated terms and conditions with no intention of reading or understanding them, and every day our data is passed from company to company to company.

Understanding consumers is extremely valuable for every business and the development of applications like social media is accelerating the power of business to understand and manipulate the market. The GDPR is an effort to intervene in this process in order to tip the scales somewhat in the direction of the individual. It’s also something of a wake-up call for Europe. We all can think a little bit harder about our online presence and how and when we want to share our own details. This is a great opportunity to document your commitment to providing a safe, secure environment for the families that are your clients. We know how important it is that you have sound policies for physical safety, that you make sure you have procedures in place in case of fires, that you prepare for accidents and so many other threats to safety. But don’t forget that it is also your responsibility to provide for data safety for the children in your service and their families!

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