The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018 replacing the 1995 European Data Protection Directive. The explosion of new technologies, communication platforms, social media, vendors, suppliers, and cross border dataflows presents a very different set of challenges to the fundamental aims of protecting the rights of the individual and facilitating a single digital market.

The GDPR responds to this challenge and heralds a new era of data protection and privacy. It introduces a data centric model for business compliance that for many organisations will require a complete overhaul of the way in which personal data is collected, processed and stored, and buy in from senior management and key stakeholders across all business functions.

With under a year and half to go, faced with prohibitive fines, increased media attention and reputational risk, ever evolving threats of breach, and increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks, the GDPR has shifted data protection and privacy from an issue of legal compliance to a business priority.

The demands of GDPR compliance are an opportunity to update information security practices, review service contracts, and implement efficient and effective data management practices. By reviewing how one gathers, stores, uses and deletes data, one can unleash real business value out of the personal information that is currently curated, often for no reason than “because it is there”.

Data Privacy Day is celebrated at the end of January each year. Initiated to raise awareness and promote respect for data privacy, it offers the perfect opportunity to begin this journey to unlock business value through legal change. Over the next five weeks we will be publishing a practical road map to help you navigate the impact of GDPR and its uses in a data centric world. At D2 Legal Technology we believe that transforming data into business assets is key to your competitive edge. GDPR should be viewed as an opportunity to reimagine the boundaries of data privacy and its effect on corporate ambitions.