As of 9am this morning, “GDPR” was trending higher worldwide on Google than “Meghan Markle”.

Sorry, but this is yet another article about the GDPR.

As I am sure you are aware, today is the day that the GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) comes into force.

I would be surprised if you were not already aware of the GDPR, but for those who have been busy, the GDPR is a new piece of legislation which enhances data protection rights and puts more stringent requirements on those who collect and use our data.

The GDPR affects anyone who handles personal data, and over the past few months, businesses and individuals across the country have been preparing for these changes. This has not only been about updating documents, but also encourages a wider, cultural shift to uphold individuals’ privacy rights.

In the last few weeks, the GDPR has also prompted a deluge of ‘spam’ emails, which could be seen to be a misuse of your data. This is, ironically, exactly what the GDPR is trying to curb!

I am sure you have received multiple emails, telling you about updates to privacy policies and asking for you to update your email preferences or to refresh your consent. However, a lot of these emails are completely unnecessary, and in some cases are not even compliant with the GDPR.

There are those of us who are now celebrating that the GDPR is in force, and hope that we will no longer receive more emails or have to attend any more training events.

But, unfortunately, it doesn’t stop here. The GDPR is not only about meeting the requirements as of today, but it is about ongoing compliance, and making sure that all use of data from now on is done so in compliance with the GDPR.

So, today does not mark the day that you will no longer hear about the GDPR. You can expect to see and hear a lot more about the GDPR, and you will need to continue to consider its effects on your business and how you collect and handle personal data.

Today is the beginning, not the end. The GDPR is here to stay.