Protecting your personal information

By Saman Harris

The digital environment has changed significantly since the current data protection laws were passed in 1998

Back then, if you were lucky enough to have internet access on your desktop computer, you’d have used a dial-up connection using a telephone landline.  Download speeds were tediously slow and, with long waits to download a file, accessing music or a video was out of the question. 

Twenty years later, we enjoy digitally-streamed movies, box sets and music, social media and instant messaging – accessible on multiple devices in our homes and pockets and all made possible by our use of the ‘Cloud’. Technology companies have become the world’s biggest brands: Google, Apple, Netflix, Snapchat etc.

Technological development has many obvious advantages, but it also brings new risks, including for our personal data - in fact, we now have less control over how our personal information is used. The existing legal framework has become ill-equipped to balance the rapid tech and media changes against the increased need for our information to be protected.

 

Strengthening data protection

In May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will replace the existing data protection laws and aims to deliver the modernisation of the regulatory framework that is badly needed.

The GDPR will regulate how businesses and other organisations use your personal data. This will mean you can get a better understanding of how and why your personal data will be used. It will also mean that organisations using your personal data have greater responsibility to ensure that your information is properly protected and used in a responsible way.

Unlike previous data protection laws, the GDPR has been developed with an understanding of how the modern and connected world works, which should mean that regulators have greater powers and better control when ensuring that your personal information is kept safe.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is an independent body set up to uphold information rights, and there is more detail about the GDPR on its website here.

 

What is RateSetter doing to protect your data?

At RateSetter we have always taken protecting our customers’ personal information very seriously and we treat all your data with the utmost care.  We strongly support strengthening our safeguards and believe that this is completely consistent with our focus on delivering the highest standards of customer service. 

Over the last few months, we have been working hard to ensure we are ready for the new GDPR rules that will apply from 25 May 2018. This work involves:

 

·         ensuring that we understand all the requirements of the GDPR

·         implementing changes to our platform and website, to comply with the new rules

·         reviewing and updating our contracts, policies and procedures

·         training our employees to ensure everyone at RateSetter understands the new rules

 

We are not only focussing on ensuring RateSetter is compliant when the GDPR comes into effect. We are also committed to ensuring that everyone at RateSetter understands and applies the new GDPR principles and that we keep your personal information safe and secure going forwards.

 

What does this mean for you?

Our priority is to ensure a smooth transition for all our customers. The work we are doing is taking place behind the scenes, so we don’t think that any of the changes will have a noticeable impact on how you use RateSetter. We are preparing a new e-privacy policy which we will run through in a future blog post…stay tuned!

If you have any questions about RateSetter’s approach to data protection, please send them to us at [email protected].