In the News

Sarah Thompson Pens Personnel Today Article on Preparing Workforce for EU Data Privacy Reforms

July 5, 2017

Leading UK human resources website Personnel Today published a June 21 article by McGuireWoods London associate Sarah Thompson on changes companies can make within their workforces to prepare for the European Union’s impending data privacy reforms.

When it takes effect on May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply to EU organizations as well as companies that do business with or monitor citizens of the EU.

Because violating the law could cost a business up to €20 million, or 4 percent of a year’s global turnover, it becomes a boardroom issue and makes it incumbent on companies to create a culture of compliance, Thompson wrote.

UK companies aren’t off the hook because of Brexit, she noted. The GDPR takes force before the UK’s divorce from the EU is final. Also, the UK will likely adopt similar legislation afterward.

“The GDPR introduces the principle of accountability, which runs through the core of the legislation,” Thompson wrote. Entrenching accountability within organizations demands “a cultural and organizational shift and for companies to take a proactive, methodical and answerable approach to compliance.”