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New Data Protection Act to transform handling of personal information

Published:Tuesday | November 7, 2023 | 12:07 AM

TO GEAR up for the impending Data Protection Act, which is scheduled to take effect on December 1, Shipping Industry will provide weekly insights and practical tips to facilitate the industry’s seamless transition towards achieving compliance.

The impending implementation of the Data Protection Act is poised to transform the way organisations manage personal data, particularly the shipping and logistics industry where large amounts of personal data are processed daily. This legislation will influence the range of data processes, spanning collection, storage, utilisation, disclosure, and disposal. Failure to adhere to its stringent requirements could result in hefty fines. As a result, companies are now under pressure to swiftly adopt the necessary technical and organisational measures to guarantee compliance with the forthcoming act.

The act places a paramount focus on organisations engaged in personal data processing, requiring them to ensure the safety, security, and confidentiality of the data they handle, while strictly adhering to its stipulations.

To achieve this, there are several legal obligations that these entities must meet, including:

• Organisations must designate a responsible individual to oversee data protection.

• Firms are required to register with the information commissioner and pay an annual registration fee.

• Data processing must align with specific international standards.

• The act mandates an annual submission of a data protection impact assessment.

Crucially, organisations need to be aware that the act’s scope is broad and applicable to any entity involved in the collection, storage, use, disclosure, or deletion of personal data, whether belonging to customers, employees, guests, or clients. This legislation is universal, with no specific exemptions, applying to both public and private entities.