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GDPR to affect Europe and South African companies

ROB LITH, Director: Business Development at Connection Telecom , explores the implementation of GDPR and its potential impact on local businesses.

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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. 

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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