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After the transition period that ended on December 31st 2020, the UK formally left the European Union.

You might think that this would mean UK organisations would no longer have to comply with regulations related to EU countries and citizens, such as the GDPR.

The General Data Protection Regulation states that companies who hold data about EU citizens, whether they’re employees, customers, or clients, are responsible for protecting this information. Any data breaches can incur fines of up to €20 million.

While the UK is no longer part of Europe, GDPR remains relevant. Not only does the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) more or less equate to a UK version of GDPR, but if you continue to offer goods and services to EU residents post-Brexit, you must continue to comply with EU GDPR.

Post-Brexit Data Protection in the UK

You might imagine that once we left the EU, we would cease to be subject to the GDPR that applies to all EU-based companies and those with EU citizens as customers.

However, the GDPR has an extraterritorial effect. This means that even non-EU countries must adhere to the regulation. So, if UK companies continue to do business with the EU post-Brexit, they must continue to comply with EU GDPR.

What’s more, the UK’s DPA 2018 enacted the same requirements of the EU GDPR into UK law. While this new data protection framework is specific to the UK, it is essentially the same as EU GDPR, except it also accommodates domestic law areas.

This means that while UK GDPR does include some changes, such as exceptions by which standard protection of personal data can be bypassed for national security matters, for example, in essence, UK GDPR and EU GDPR are the same.

The DPA and Document Storage

With GDPR still as relevant for UK businesses as ever, it’s essential to follow the necessary requirements for data storage.

As a regulation to monitor the protection of personal data, GDPR has stringent standards for how companies store and access documents and files.

For one thing, GDPR states that documents shouldn’t be kept longer than necessary and disposing of the documents safely and securely is essential to avoid data breaches. Similarly, GDPR has a shorter timescale for Subject Access Requests, making fast and secure document retrieval imperative.

As a result, storing files safely and securely is crucial for UK companies. Digitising documents is also a smart move. This means you can store and manage documents electronically, preventing filing errors, reducing the risk of losing documents and data, and allowing for easier retrieval of information.

Given that GDPR gives customers the right to access their personal information and erase or move data whenever they want, digitising documents will make your life a lot easier.

How Principled Can Help

Whether or not you do business with EU customers, you need to make sure you adhere to GDPR. Loss and theft of paperwork, violations of file storage, and improper document disposal are all data breaches subject to hefty fines.

At Principled, we offer a document management service that offers fully GDPR compliant and secure document storage, digitisation, and destruction. Employing the services of a reputable and highly rated document management service like ours takes much of the hassle and headache out of correct document storage.