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I’m sure by now you have received 92 requests from previous companies you never heard of asking to retain your personal information and bringing their new privacy policy to your attention. Yes, of course I am talking about GDPR!

I am 100% pro for data protection and ensuring how business collate, store and use personal/sensitive information. However, you may be surprised to hear that GDPR doesn’t bring in that many changes. Naturally there is a few changes in terminology and categorisation, however most of the new legislation reinforces the old rules with a few updates to account for changes and development in technology and how we store data.

The fact that you now have to opt in as opposed to the commonly adopted process of opting out historically should hopefully stop those companies tricking you into consent, with excessive level of fines to impose on those that break the rules, I only hope that I can reconnect the landline and not spend the majority of the day answering whether I wish to make a claim for PPI..

In addition to the above, the rules also revolve a lot around how we hold, manage and process data. Naturally in the financial services industry we hold extremely sensitive data, security is essential, and care must be taken.

So Dixons Carphone… it was only a matter of time before a large corporation was scrutinised and failed to comply. Personally, I was looking at Facebook to be first on the list.

It didn’t take long for the market to react with shares dipping 5.5% the moment they announced the breach. Is there an anticipation of penalties to come?

Fortunate for Dixons Carphone, as the data breach pre-dated GDPR, any financial penalty would be imposed under the previous data protection act rules, with a maximum fine of £500,000.

Under the new rules, firms could face a maximum of €20m (£17.6m) or 4% of global turnover, whichever is the greater.

More about GDPR legislation

However, GDPR legislation can only protect your rights, it’s down to you to decide who you should share your information with. In financial services, its essential that everyone does their own due diligence before seeking advice. First and foremost, financial advice is a regulated activity by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), check your adviser is authorised to give advice! You can do so by searching for them on the FCA register (It’s the google for financial advisers/firms!). Whilst you’re there do a bit of digging, find out more about them. What are they authorised to advise on, where have the worked previously, any issues in the past?

It’s important that they are regulated as you may not be protected by Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if not. Once you have this information dig deeper! Are they independent? A simple question but would want a firm that has no bias and remains strictly independent from the products or someone who works on behalf of a provider? How do you feel this would steer the advice?

This is your life savings, your financial plan and future. Be careful with who you share your sensitive information with!

Find your local adviser to find more about it.

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