As of 25 May, anyone trading with EU businesses, marketing to EU citizens, or holding the personal data of even a single European national, needs to be fully compliant. This means making major changes to how one captures, processes and stores consumer data, with a strong focus on data protection and archiving practices. Ignore GDPR, and you run the risk of hefty fines (up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater), a loss of consumer trust, and untold damage to your reputation. Are you ready to face GDPR head-on? If you have been readying yourself for compliance to our own POPI (Protection of Personal Information) act, then you should not be far off complying with GDPR which is based on similar principles.
The requirements of GDPR
Globally, recent years have seen some of the worst data leaks and malicious hacks in history. As a result, people are far more concerned about their fundamental right to privacy and have also become more vigilant and aware of their liberties when it comes to their digitally-gathered personal data, and what businesses are doing with it. GDPR outlines a new set of regulations that are designed to prioritise the rights of EU citizens and give them more control over their private data, including valuable and sensitive information such as financial details, phone numbers, addresses, religious and political views, and much more.
Regardless of where a business is located, if it collects or processes the personal information of any EU resident, GDPR applies. In this regard, it’s imperative to understand what data you collect, where it is stored and how it’s being used. The legislation highlights two main data rights for customers: the right to be forgotten, where a customer can request their data be deleted; and the right for data portability, where a customer can request that their data is moved from one company to another. Customers are further protected in the form of necessary updated privacy notices, which need to be worded in clear, concise and plain language that anyone can understand. By outlining exactly what you’ll be doing with the data, a strong focus on transparency is emphasised, and customers feel more at ease.
Another important aspect of the regulation involves data breaches. Businesses are required to notify authorities of any kind of cybercrime within 72 hours. In an effort to minimise exposure to these kinds of attacks, a company is encouraged to only collect, share and keep the data that they really need, and to ensure that it is effectively searchable in case they are called upon to provide it.
The importance of change and compliance
Any South African company needing to align itself with the GDPR requires the appropriate internal processes and technical capabilities to be able to execute these changes correctly. For example, a data processing company, such as Connection Telecom, would need to sharpen its security controls and data breach continuity plans, and seek advice from a specialist attorney that can assist with updating its policies and documentation to ensure informed consent and water-tight compliance.
The relationship and transfer of data between data controllers and data processors is an important part of GDPR, and businesses need to work together to ensure consumer information is secure. Companies should also consider assigning dedicated individuals or teams to focus on GDPR, to ensure that data is accurately documented, safely stored, and permanently deleted – not to mention that practices are regularly tested to ensure optimal protection.
Beyond the negative financial implications of non-compliance, there’s another important reason for businesses to implement these data security and integrity practices: a digitally-savvy generation of customers is better informed than ever before, and the reputational risks associated with irresponsible handling of data are known all too well. Consumers expect ethical behaviour and utter transparency, even from the largest corporation.
Finally, it is worth noting the positives of GDPR compliance. By gaining a true understanding of a business’s data practices, more effective business decisions can be made in the long run. It’s not just a legal responsibility, it’s an opportunity to do better business – and organisations across the globe would do well to embrace it with open arms.
The myths of microwaves
We all know microwaves make cooking a breeze and it helps save those minutes, we rarely have enough of these days. However, some people do have those lingering doubts about whether microwaving food destroys nutrients or that it emits harmful radiation. However, the truth is a lot more comforting and positive.
“The microwave makes life so much easier,” says Tracy Gordon, Head of Product – Home Appliances at Samsung South Africa. “It’s human-centred technology at its most helpful. The Samsung Hotblast for example, has revolutionary functions, which are tailor-made to create fast, tasty and healthy meals in minutes.”
A recent article by Harvard Health Publishingclaims stated that “microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are remarkably selective, primarily affecting water and other molecules that are electrically asymmetrical. Microwaves cause these molecules to vibrate and quickly build up thermal (heat) energy.” The article debunks two common myths about microwaving food.
Myth 1: Microwaving kills nutrients
Whether in a microwave or a regular oven, some nutrients, including vitamin C, do break down when exposed to heat. However, the fact is, cooking with a microwave might be better when it comes to preserving nutrients because it takes a shorter time to cook. Additionally, as far as vegetables go, cooking them in water robs them of some of their nutritional value because the nutrients seep out into the cooking water,” states the report by Harvard Health Publishing. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), food cooked in a microwave oven is as safe and has the same nutrient value, as food cooked in a conventional oven.
Myth 2: Microwaving food can give you cancer
The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that microwaves do not make food radioactive. Microwaves heat food but they do not change the chemical or molecular structure of it. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that microwaves pose a health risk to people when used appropriately, the organisation added.
With those myths well busted, it’s comforting to know one can make full use of the convenient kitchen appliance. And when the time comes to use a microwave to heat up a tasty meal in no time, one can trust the Samsung Hotblast to do the job. The HotBlast has multiple air holes blowing out powerful hot air, which reduces cooking time. Samsung claims the Slim Fry technology ensures that food is perfectly crisp on the outside and delicious and juicy on the inside. Additionally, this versatile microwave has a wider grill, making it easier to brown food fast and evenly. The turntable is wider, measuring 345mm, making it possible to prepare bigger portions of food. And with its Eco Mode power, it significantly reduces energy consumption with its low standby power. Its intelligent features and stylish design makes it very useful and as we now know – a safe, healthy way to enjoy a meal.
New BMW 3-series ushers in autonomous future
The new BMW 3-series is not meant to be an autonomous car, but it is so close, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK discovers.
It was not meant to be a test-drive of an autonomous vehicle. But the Driving Assist button on the steering wheel of the new BMW 330i was just too tempting. And there I found myself, on Sir Lowry’s Pass near Cape Town, “driving” with my arms folded while the vehicle negotiated curves on its own.
Every 10 seconds or so, yellow or red lights flashed to alert me to put my hands back on the wheel. The yellow lights meant the car wanted me to put my hands on the wheel, just to show that I was in control. The red lights meant that I had to take over control from the artificial intelligence built into the vehicle.
With co-driver Ernest Page, we negotiated a major highway, the bends of Sir Lowry’s pass, and the passes of Hell’s Heights (Hel se Hoogte) above the Cape Winelands.
As the above video of the experience reveals, it can be nerve-racking for someone who hasn’t experienced autonomous driving, or hasn’t been dreaming of testing it for many years. For this driver, it was exhilarating. Not because the car performed so magnificently, but because it tells us just how close true autonomous driving really is.
There was one nervous moment when the autonomous – or rather, Driving Assist – mode disengaged on Hell’s Heights, but fear not. A powerful sense of responsibility prevailed, and my hands hovered over the steering wheel as it took the curve. Assist disengaged, and the car began to veer towards the other side of the road. I quickly took over, and also sobered up from the giddiness of thinking I was already in the future.
In reality, Driving Assist is part of level 2 of driving autonomy, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers. A presentation on the evening of the test drive, by Edward Makwana, manager of group product communications at BMW Group in South Africa, summed up the five stages as the driver having Feet Off, Hands Off, Eyes Off, Mind off, and finally, only being a Passenger.
However, the extent to which the hands-off mode of Driving Assist mimics self-driving, and easily shows the way to eyes-off and mind-off, is astonishing.
Click here to read about the components that make the Driving Assist work.