Our Response to the New General Data Protection Regulation

Important
In line with the new General Data Protection Regulations, all members will shortly be receiving a letter or an email, from the Paget’s Association. It is important that you respond to this correspondence as failure to do so may mean we can no longer send you the Paget’s Newsletter or any other correspondence that you may wish to receive from us.

Trustee, Peter Jones, explains below the background to the new General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into effect from May 2018. As the Paget’s Association’s Data Protection Officer, Peter explains how this new regulation will affect the Association.

Like all charities, the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is something we have been following closely, and it is our plan to implement any necessary changes ahead of the 25th May, which is the date the government has set for the new regulation to take effect.

It is worth just reminding ourselves why this change has come about. As has been widely publicised in the national press, a number of the larger charities breached the existing data protection act by misusing donors’ personal data. I must stress at this point, that the Paget’s Association was not, nor ever has been, involved in this practice. Members’ details are securely stored. They are not sold or shared with other organisations.

Investigators found that some of the UK’s largest charities had targeted new or lapsed donors by piecing together personal information obtained from various undisclosed sources. Worse still they had gone on to trade donors’ personal details with other charities, creating a “large pool of donor data for sale.” The government, it is fair to say, had no choice but to act, and following a cross party review of fundraising regulation, chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington, on behalf of the Minister for Civil Society, the new General Data Protection Regulation will come into effect this year.

In effect, the regulation will require all charities both large and small to comply with the new laws around how personal data is processed and it’s probably the biggest overhaul of data protection for around 25 years. Although a small charity, with limited resources, the Paget’s Association is well on track to be fully compliant with the new regulation by 25th May 2018.

As a requirement of the new regulation, all members will shortly be receiving a letter in the post, as we need to know how you would like us to communicate with you in the future. It is important that you respond to this letter, as it is your opportunity to let us know exactly what information you wish to receive from us. Failure to respond may mean we can no longer send you the Paget’s Newsletter or any other correspondence you may wish to receive from us.

In looking at our obligations to members, it has highlighted to Trustees the importance of membership and the valuable contribution that members make to the Association. This will be discussed further at the next meeting of Trustees, but it is possible that there may have to be further changes to the membership scheme, of which we will keep you updated.

Peter