Safeguarding our Data
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018
5th March 2018
What is this all about?
Data protection in the UK is changing in May 2018 and the new law gives individuals (you and me) more rights over how information about them is stored and used by organisations including our diocese and parishes. In particular, organisations have to tell individuals what they are doing with information they are storing and processing.
Whether in a parish, framework or any other group each of us needs to comply with the new legislation – in particular we need to know what data we hold, where it is and how we use it.
The answers to these questions need to comply with the new legislation so, in the next three months, all parishes will be asked to review their own habits and processes. In reality, a data protection compliance breach could be disastrous for a church with large reputational and financial consequences.
It is tempting to think that Churches are low risk – after all who is really interested in the volunteer group for ‘mothers and toddlers’ or reading rota lists. It is good practice however to protect our information whether from serious fraud to the innocent accidental breach of privacy.
Does this apply to me?
If you work or volunteer for your parish or diocese, framework or other ministry group and collect, use and store information about people this DOES apply to you.
As a Diocese we are currently updating the Diocesan policies with our advisors, amending procedures and forms, and working with our IT partners on data processing. From January 2018 we have begun working with 5 pilot parishes to apply the new procedures and in April we shall offer training for all parishes and groups and encourage as many attendees as possible in order to manage the required changes smoothly in time for the May deadline.
What do I need to do?
Please watch for the published updates and respond to an invitation to training in April if received by your parish priest. This training will be key to enable us to comply with the new legislation and keep our data safe.