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Don’t let GDPR ruin your Christmas!

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Don’t let GDPR ruin your Christmas!

Is GDPR ruining your Christmas? Well don’t let it! Our Associate Angela Kerry has a look at how GDPR is affecting some people’s Christmas celebrations.

As we all know this year has seen a major development in data protection legislation across the EU. The GPDR and the Data Protection Act 2018 had us all running round like chickens to make sure our ducks are in a row (and yes, I know chickens don’t have ducks!) to comply or face the consequences.

Bearing that in mind, it’s hard to believe we can have a little giggle over data protection, but the ICO issued an article this week with some Christmas myth busters. Given how stressful Christmas can be, the last thing we need on top is worry over whether we might be in breach of GDPR.

So in the build up to Christmas, I thought it might be useful to spread the word and have a laugh over what you don’t need to have data protection panic over.

‘Children can’t write public letters to Santa as their parents’ permission will be needed’

Have all the letters been sent yet? The issue is if it’s a public letter. Solution: while the GDPR does give special status to the data of children, a simple form including both the child’s letter and a parent’s signature is all that is needed.

‘Christmas cards are banned if you don’t have the recipients’ consent’

No, the GDPR doesn’t ban Christmas cards, even in a corporate context. If you are sending Christmas cards to friends, family, neighbours etc. you don’t need their consent.

However on a serious note, if you’re sending corporate Christmas cards, then it may fall under direct marketing particularly if is addressed to an individual. Be aware that sending corporate Christmas greetings electronically, e.g. by email, must comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulation (PECR) rules on electronic marketing, these can be found at: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-pecr/

‘Parents can’t film or take pictures of their child’s Nativity play’

This is not (and was not, under the previous data protection regime) a ground for banning parents wanting to reminisce over their darling one’s performance, particularly if it meant you could get £250 for sending it to ‘You’ve Been Framed’!

If the filming or photography is for your own personal purposes then there is no reason why you can’t. Schools on the other hand may prefer to ask that it is not done for child protection or commercial reasons.

‘Guest registration on a website removes the right to return faulty goods’

The GDPR has no detrimental effect whatsoever on your rights under consumer protection legislation.

A good general guide, in the words of one the Information Commissioner’s elves: ‘If it sounds too far-fetched to be true then it probably isn’t’

As for the Big Fella himself well… the naughty list and the right to be forgotten are covered by the requirements of GDPR. Let’s hope Santa Clause has a Data Protection Officer and good lawyers!

At EGL we can help in finding a way through the GDPR quagmire. Please contact Angela Kerry on 0121 314 0000 (more details on her profile page here).

The Information Commissioners Office also has a helpful guide for organisations which you can access here

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