Preparing for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

(via the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action)

By Shauna O'Neill

With only one year to go until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, NICVA joined with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to hold a conference to help charities prepare for the changes ahead.

On 25 May 2018, the GDPR will come into force bringing the biggest change to data protection law in 20 years. The changes will mean new requirements for how charities gather, process and use personal data. Our Conference focused on not only the new GDPR requirements, but also highlighted how both government departments and charities are putting new processes in place to ensure they are ready for the changes. Due to demand for the conference we ran it in first in May and again in June and had over 300 charity leaders and trustees in attendance over the two events.

We opened the conference by gauging the knowledge and readiness for the GDPR in the room. Results from our poll can be viewed here.

Our CEO, Seamus McAleavey opened the event and stressed that while data protection issues traditionally sat with the IT department, with GDPR this needs to be a boardroom issue. Not preparing properly for the new regulations is a threat to voluntary and community organisations’ both in terms of cost and reputation he added. Seamus also announced that after consulting with the sector, we have invited the Fundraising Regulator to oversee and regulate fundraising in Northern Ireland.  

We were delighted to have a special key address from the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, on how the third sector must be a beacon of good practice. She highlighted that one of the key requirements in GDPR is accountability, which is being able to demonstrate that you are compliant with data protection law. Elizabeth also gave a special mention to our NICVA/ICO Data Fridays partnership – an initiative that has been replicated across the UK.

Read more via the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action...