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Few people will have by now, not heard of GDPR, the new data legislation due early in 2018. Clients in socialhousing as well as a number of suppliers are asking me about it. So I will be devoting a short series of blogs about it.
GDPR is becoming a bit like the Millennium Bug. The rash of seminars for £350 who will help read the planned legislation to you, reminds me of a previous age, when we had hand driers, plastered with ‘Millennium Compliant’ stickers, costing £12 a time. It’s a wee goldmine for some!
Too big to slot into one single blog, I will be looking to touch on some of the key areas of GDPR, we should be thinking about. Brexit will not change it and I feel we should not waiting for, or expecting our ICT suppliers, to be solving all our problems around it.
The first thing to consider, is how all our decision makers are being informed on how the law is changing. Communication is key. GDPR will affect all staff and good leadership will be essential.
Knowing the extent of how the changes will affect your organisation, is a wise move. Create an inventory of all the personal data being held. Once that has been determined, document carefully its source, and more importantly everyone that data is currently shared with. When this changes in the future, we need to revise our inventory accordingly. Fail to do so, and problems may result. Consider undertaking a formal information audit.
To think how this might work in practice for SocialHousing, the tenant journey is a key place where we collect, process, then need to dispose of personal data, no longer needed. Think about how you collect data from the lettings application and inform applicant why we need it etc.Think what we do with applicant data for people that do not become tenants. Is there a need to retain it, and if so for how long? At signup, do we need to make tenants aware of the data we use and how? When repairs are logged, how can we have our contractors & operatives handle this data securely and delete it when it is of no further use? At the end of a tenancy, or if a RTB or share of sale occurs, when do we expire and delete that data?
Current privacy notices and procedures, should also be reviewed. A clear plan and intention to make necessary changes, in a timely manner will be needed, to get this in time for GDPR implementation. Ensure it is on your SMT or board radar, to ensure proper priority to be applied.
Individual rights are a key element of the changes. Review and check your procedures, to ensure you are aware of the individual rights of your customers, users and others. Know how you will be able to delete (all) information held if needed, or produce information electronically conveniently, in a suitable format. Twitter do a good job of this already. My archive is over 30mb
I will be covering more aspects of the GDPR in my next blogs, this being one of the most important changes, affecting Social Housing currently.
Related Post: Fooled already when procuring software? Don't be next time
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(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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