Overcome Small Business Data Protection Challenges

May 23, 2023

In the rapidly evolving landscape of data privacy, businesses worldwide are compelled to adapt to new commercial realities of data protection compliance. Recent high-profile data breaches, outcries of untrust concerning big-tech’s handling of personal data and record sanctions on them have underscored the increasing importance of proper data protection practices.

Enterprises have adapted rapidly in the past few years, but even they have been taking longer to implement new practices for international data transfers, new expectations for compliance evidence and recordkeeping and changing technology. Small business owners, although operating with significantly limited resources compared to enterprises, must ensure they are compliant to not only avoid potential penalties but remain competitive for market tenders. They must be able to prove compliance when their enterprise customers demand security and risk assessments prior to contract award and then periodically there-after.

Global data transfers have faced significant scrutiny and revisions, especially within the context of cross-border data exchanges. The Court of Justice of the European Union's landmark Schrems II decision invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield, a mechanism previously used to facilitate data transfers between EU and US. The decision raised concerns about the adequacy of privacy protections in the US, forcing companies to re-evaluate their data transfer strategies.

In the wake of Schrems II, EU Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) and UK International Data Transfer Agreements (IDTAs) have become the go-to tools to address compliance obligations written in client and vendor contracts. EU SCCs and UK IDTAs offer a way to document the rules of the road for data transfers and agreement between parties of how to conduct themselves for data protection. While effective, they require careful drafting to document that correct data transfer conditions and commercial arrangements around the standard data protection clauses. They must be adapted to specific data transfer circumstances.

So, how can small businesses stay compliant and remain competitive? Sovy clients put in place compliance programmes that are commercially centric, using low-cost smart tools and well-placed expert services to address difficult matters like SCCs and IDTAs, documenting compliance evidence and responding to client risk assessments.

As a small business, you can implement and maintain good data protection measures within your budget.

Written by Conor Hendley, Director, Sovy, conor.hendley@sovy.com

To learn more about GDPR compliance join tomorrow's webinar at 11am, Small Businesses and GDPR Data Breaches, presented by Deputy Commissioner Ian Chambers, Data Protection Commission. Register here.