Why is data protection compliance so important?

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Why is data protection compliance so important?
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    In the dynamic data-driven business environment, data protection compliance is not merely a legal obligation but a strategic imperative for small businesses operating in Jersey, especially in accordance with the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 (‘DPJL’).

    Propelfwd can offer a total compliance package, starting from ‘ground aero’, put in place policies, procedures, and training packages, be your outsourced Data Protection Officers.

    While it might seem like a daunting undertaking for companies with limited resources, prioritising data protection is crucial for safeguarding customer data, protecting the company’s reputation, and enhancing the operational efficiency of the business. There are several reasons for this.

    Protecting Customer Data and Reputation

    Small businesses often handle sensitive customer information, such as names, addresses, financial details, and sometimes more sensitive information.

    The DPJL mandates that data controllers, including small businesses, ensure that personal data is processed in a transparent, fair and lawfully manner, processed for specified, and legitimate purposes, adequate, relevant, and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which the data is collected, accurate and, kept up to date (with reasonable steps taken), not kept for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data was collected, and processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, which includes protection against unauthorised or unlawful access, loss, destruction or damage, and using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

    That is a long list of requirements for a small business to understand, never mind try to comply with, but the reward in doing so is great.

    Avoiding Legal Penalties and Costs

    The DPJL imposes substantial penalties for non-compliance, which can be financially crippling, even for small businesses. By implementing robust data protection measures and adhering to the six data protection principles enshrined in the DPJL, businesses can minimise their risk of legal repercussions and associated costs.

    The Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner (JOIC) gets the powers to impose these penalties from the Data Protection Authority (Jersey) Law 2018 in which the JOIC are given the powers to investigate breaches of the DPJL, complaints made against data controllers and general powers of entry and search.

    The sanctions the JOIC have following a determination on the completion of an investigation are fairly broad, ranging from Words of advice, a written reprimand, issue a warning or make an order that the data controller must carry out within a specific timeframe. The JOIC can impose a reprimand and an order or decide to impose an administrative fine.

    • In Jersey the fine is tiered much the same way as the GDPR, on two levels:
    • Tier 1 – £10 million
    • Tier 2 – £5 Million

    No percentage of an annual global turnover. Any processing of data carried out in the public interest or not for profit an administrative fine will not exceed £10,000. If the fine is levied against an individual the administrative fine must not exceed £300k or 10% of their total global annual turnover, whichever is higher.

    Building Customer Trust and Transparency

    Demonstrating a commitment to data protection fosters trust among customers, who are increasingly concerned about how their personal information is being handled. By complying with the DPJL and implementing transparent data practices, businesses can earn customer confidence and loyalty. This trust can lead to customer retention, positive word-of-mouth advertising, and enhanced business growth.

    Jersey is a unique economy to conduct business. The advertising arena is three dimensional, traditional paper copy with the good old JEP, digital platforms such as the Bailiwick Express, LinkedIn, Facebook etc and the most important one of all in Jersey that I have discovered Word-of-mouth. What people say about your business is vital to your success in Jersey. Without exaggeration 85% of our business comes from recommendations either from previous clients or new customers start the conversation by saying ‘A colleague told me to give you a call’.

    It is not very often I hear, ‘I seen your advert in the paper’ or elsewhere, but that type of advertising is still important for brand recognition, but reputation is everything. Anyway, this is not a marketing blog, this is about dataprotection. Customer trust and data protection are now linked to each other. People know their rights and they want to know you are taking them seriously.

    Cybersecurity Defence against Data Breaches

    Data breaches are a significant threat to businesses, especially those that handle sensitive customer data. The DPJL mandates that data controllers implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk.

    By implementing robust data protection measures, small businesses can better safeguard their systems, networks, and sensitive data from cyberattacks. This proactive approach can prevent financial losses, reputational damage, and the disruption of business operations.

    A data breach can be costly to a small business, not just financially, but as already stated reputationally. Depending on the business sector you are in, it could close your business, so taking data protection seriously is vital. Policies for data breach reporting at not just ‘tick box’ exercise for your businesses, they are your lifeline in a real situation.

    Your team will save your business. Training them, making your team aware of what a data breach is and how to react will save time, money, reputation, customer loss, and hopefully a JOIC investigation, or at least make the process a lot easier to manage.

    Demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility

    In today’s business environment, prioritising data protection is a way to demonstrate a commitment to ethical business practices and individual privacy rights. This alignment with corporate social responsibility can attract socially conscious customers and investors who value businesses that handle data responsibly.

    Data Ethics is now becoming the latest in business responsibility and transparency. Small businesses being able to not only show they follow good data protection practices, but good data ethics in the way they handle customer data raise the bar and build higher trust amount their client base.

    Data ethics is about using data in a way that totally protects the owner of the data, that is not the business, that is the individual who gave it to you to look after. So, no marketing they did not ask for, no further processing, only use the data for the reason it was collected and then delete it.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, data protection compliance is a cornerstone of sound business practices for small companies operating in Jersey. By prioritising data protection, businesses can enhance their reputation, protect their customers’ data, and optimise their operations, setting themselves up for success in the increasingly data-driven business landscape, in compliance with the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.

    If you are a small business in Jersey seeking assistance with data protection compliance, PropelFwd can help. We offer comprehensive data protection services tailored to the specific needs of small businesses. Our experienced consultants can help you:

    • Conduct data protection audits to identify areas of non-compliance.
    • Develop and implement data protection policies and procedures.
    • Provide data protection training for employees.
    • Respond to data subject access requests (DSARs)
    • Protect your business from data breaches.

    PropelFwd can help you navigate the complexities of data protection compliance and ensure that your business is operating in accordance with the DPJL. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve data protection excellence.

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