The several GCC businesses that yet are not in compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must act directly or risk hefty fines, as per to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
While the law is firstly designed to make sure data and protection and privacy for people living in the EU and the European Economic Area (EAA), it also addresses the export of personal data to firms and jurisdictions abroad. In a statement, the ICAEW stated the GDPR is a “complex process” that needs businesses around the world to make stronger the personal data of EU citizens. This is why it is now so important for businesses to make sure that they are GDPR compliance.
If an organisation based outside Europe is processing personal data related to data subjects in the UAE, they may be subject to compliance within the regulations, meaning that firms in the GCC and elsewhere may potentially be effected by the GDPR.
ICAEW Middle East regional director Michael Armstrong said, “Many of the GCC organisations still don’t know if GDPR affects them or if they are GDPR compliant.”
He added, “With the introduction of the EU’s GDPR law on the 25th of May 2018, organisations all over the world had to adhere to much heightened compliance standards with the way they handle personal data.”
Armstrong included that “regional leaders and businesses outside the EU must be proactive and raise awareness of the fact that they may be affected.”
To assist possible compliance, ICAEW has issued a ‘GDPR checklist’, which starts with the appointment of someone senior to oversee the procedure and a analysis of existing data and cyber security process, also the application of any required update.
ICAEW also suggests that firms map their data, analysis contracts with clients, suppliers and employees, draft data protection policies and process and train staff to understand information protection problems, even if they don’t understand the GDPR in its whole.
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