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Now that we’ve had time to settle down after the frantic activity around the introduction of GDPR in May, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at how the new regulations have affected us.

In fact, many people believe they did their bit in advance of the May deadline and that was enough. And it does seem to appear that, on the face of it, nothing has changed, but this is definitely not the case.

GDPR was not a one-off event

Even though the press coverage has died down, GDPR is an on-going, permanent journey and organisations must move it up their corporate priority list. In every company, someone needs to take responsibility to ensure compliance on an on-going basis, and to decide, if there is a problem, whether to report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

This is important because, whilst the current remit of the ICO is to help, it does have the power to impose fines in the future for companies that transgress and are deemed to have not taken sufficient measures.

Subject access and right to erasure requests

The media coverage of GDPR virtually stopped after it came into effect on 25 May and we will probably not have a big news story about it until an organisation, that continually flouts the rules, receives a big fine – we shall watch with interest what happens next after the latest breach admission from Dixons Carphone. Nevertheless, there is a lot of GDPR-related activity going on. Many individuals have already taken advantage of the new regulations to submit subject access requests or demand their right to erasure. Unfortunately, many companies do not appear to have implemented any policies detailing how to go about this, and the ICO itself has been poor at providing guidance.

In fact, I contacted the ICO directly for some specific clarification about subject access requests. Sadly, they could not help, telling me that they “believe” clarification is on the way. I do not believe this answer is good enough. They are the ones who need to come up with the clarification, not to wait for it to come from the EU, leaving me to conclude they are not doing a good enough job supporting UK business.

With subject access requests, the perception is an individual can ask for all information being held about them, including the original documents and emails, but things are not as straightforward as that. The requirement for fulfilling the request is to supply the personal data held rather than the much more onerous task of collating and supplying all documentation. It is inevitable that documents will also contain personal information about other individuals, which cannot be released without either the consent of the other party involved or redacting of the documents. Organisations are understandably getting into a flap about these requests as they worry about the possible fines involved if they do the wrong thing, but my advice is to not be afraid to push back where appropriate. Requests can be turned down if they are what the ICO terms “manifestly unfounded or excessive”.

As an example, a charity client of ours has had a problem with an ex-employee who was only employed for 12 weeks, but has been asking for all the emails that mention them. My advice to the client was that the individual was not entitled to so much information.

Back-up issues

The difficulty with the erasure of an individual’s information is that sometimes technology goes wrong. It may well be that an individual asks for their details to be erased, but if there’s subsequently an issue with the database and the company restores the most recent back-up data, that person’s details could be put back into the system again.

The French regulator has tried to clarify things by advising companies to keep a list of every erasure data request. In a case where back-up data needs to be restored, staff can consult the list to double-check and erase the details again. However, where companies are asking individuals to consent to this option, the individuals are not consenting, leaving them open to the possibility of getting into further difficulties if back-up data needs to be reinstalled with that person’s data. This is a good example where the data subject’s consent is not, in fact, required as a right of erasure does not need to be complied with if the data is held under Legitimate Interest (LI) and the data subject’s Legitimate Interest does not outweigh the controller’s.

If you would like advice on GDPR or are looking to outsource the role of Data Protection Officer, contact us to arrange an appointment.


What our customers say

Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.

Luke Harrison
Keidan Harrison LLP

Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020.  They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully. The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.

The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.

Robin Illingworth
Managing Partner, Adams & Remers LLP

The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.

Martin David
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc

Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.

Carolyn Addison
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis

Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.

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Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC

The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.

Patrick Agar
Lambert Energy Advisory

It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.

Cindy Withey
Connect Dacorum

Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.

Stephen Pembury
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd

Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.

Charles Douglas
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP

The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.

Adam Helmy
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd

Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.

John Bell
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc

Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.

Clementine McKinley
COO, Perrett Laver Limited

Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.

Simon Lucas
Managing Director, Society Limited

The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.

Joe Menendez
CEO, The Vita Group

We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.

Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories

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