What Steps Should UK Businesses Take to Comply with the Updated GDPR Requirements?

11 June 2024

In the face of ever-evolving technology, the landscape of personal data protection is under constant revision. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), implemented in 2018 by the European Union, advocates for strengthened data privacy rights for individuals, giving them more control over their personal information. As of 18/04/2024, new updates have been introduced to the GDPR, prompting UK businesses to reevaluate their data handling practices for continued compliance. This article will guide you through the necessary steps your business should take to remain GDPR compliant.

Understanding the GDPR Updates

Key to ensuring GDPR compliance is understanding the recent updates. The revised GDPR provisions continue to focus on personal data protection but bring some notable changes. Understanding these changes will provide your business with a clear path towards implementation and compliance.

One of the significant changes to note is the tightened regulations around the concept of consent. Previously, businesses could assume implied consent or pre-tick boxes to gather personal data. The updated GDPR now demands a clear, affirmative action from individuals to signify consent. Businesses must ensure that their data gathering methods are transparent and offer individuals the opportunity to freely give, deny, or withdraw consent.

Another substantial revision pertains to data processing. The updated GDPR now requires businesses to provide detailed information on how they process personal data. It's crucial that businesses document all data processing activities, including the categories of data, processing purposes, and data retention periods.

Implementing the Necessary Changes

Once you have a grasp of the updated GDPR requirements, the next step is implementing the necessary changes into your business operations. This part of the process may require a bit of time and resources, but it is essential to maintain GDPR compliance and avoid potential legal consequences.

To adhere to the new consent rules, your business should review and amend its data collection methods. Revise your consent forms to include explicit consent checkbox and provide clear information about what data will be collected and how it will be used. Regularly update your privacy policy to reflect these changes and make it easily accessible to individuals.

Regarding data processing, your business should compile a comprehensive record of all data processing activities. This includes what data is being processed, for what purpose, and how long it will be retained. This record must be kept up-to-date and be ready to present to supervisory authorities upon request.

Training Your Employees

Your employees are the frontline when it comes to GDPR compliance. It's crucial that they understand the updated regulations and their role in ensuring the company's compliance. Well-trained employees will be more effective in handling personal data responsibly and identifying potential data breaches.

Develop a comprehensive GDPR training program that covers all updated regulations and changes made within the business. Make this training mandatory for all employees, especially those who handle personal data regularly. Reinforce the importance of data protection and the potential legal implications of non-compliance.

Regularly Auditing Your Data Protection Measures

To ensure continuous compliance with the GDPR, your business should conduct regular audits of its data protection measures. An audit will help identify any areas of non-compliance and provide an opportunity to rectify them before they become a significant issue.

A GDPR audit should assess all areas of data protection, including data collection, processing, storage, and sharing practices. It should also evaluate the effectiveness of your data security measures and your procedures for responding to data breaches and data subject access requests.

Seeking Legal Advice

While this article provides a general guide on steps towards GDPR compliance, it's recommended that businesses seek legal advice. The intricacies of GDPR can be complex, and non-compliance can lead to hefty fines. A legal expert can provide tailored advice based on your business's specific data handling practices and guide you on the most effective path towards GDPR compliance.

Remember, GDPR compliance is not a one-time task but a continuous process that requires regular review and adjustment in line with changes in regulations. By understanding the updated GDPR requirements, implementing necessary changes, training your employees, conducting regular audits, and seeking appropriate legal advice, your business can continue to comply with GDPR and uphold the highest standards of personal data protection.

Designating a Data Protection Officer

The role of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is paramount in maintaining GDPR compliance. The DPO's primary function is to inform and advise the organisation and its employees about their obligations to comply with GDPR and other data protection laws. They monitor compliance with these laws, including managing internal data protection activities, advising on data protection impact assessments, training employees, and conducting internal audits.

Small businesses tend to underestimate the importance of this role. Many believe that they do not possess enough data or their data processing isn't high-risk enough to warrant a DPO. However, irrespective of the size of your business, if you process personal data, it is advisable to designate a DPO. Their expert guidance can help avoid costly mistakes and ensure your business remains GDPR compliant.

The DPO should be adequately trained and have a thorough understanding of the GDPR requirements, data protection principles, and the business's data processing activities. They should have the independence to perform their duties without any conflict of interest, and they must report directly to the highest management level of your business.

If your business cannot afford a full-time DPO, consider outsourcing the role to a third party. This way, you can still benefit from expert advice without having to bear the cost of a full-time position.

Cookie Consent and Third Party Data Sharing

A critical aspect of the GDPR is how businesses deal with cookies and third-party data sharing. Under the updated GDPR rules, businesses must provide clear and easy-to-understand information about the cookies they use and what they are used for. The consent to use cookies must be explicit, meaning that businesses cannot use pre-ticked boxes. The users should have the option to select which types of cookies they allow.

When it comes to third-party data sharing, the GDPR requires businesses to disclose any third parties with whom they share personal data. The updated regulations make it clear that businesses must have explicit consent from individuals before sharing their data with a third party.

For both cookies and third-party data sharing, businesses should include detailed information in their privacy policy. These aspects should also be integrated into the company's GDPR compliance checklist, which the Data Protection Officer regularly reviews.


The updated GDPR requirements underscore the EU's commitment to ensuring personal data protection. UK businesses must take significant steps to ensure they comply with these changes. Understanding the updates, implementing necessary changes, training employees, appointing a Data Protection Officer, and addressing cookie consent and third-party data sharing are essential steps towards GDPR compliance.

While the process may seem daunting, the cost of non-compliance — both financial and reputational — can be far greater. Furthermore, businesses that uphold the highest standards of personal data protection not only avoid hefty fines but also build trust with customers and partners. Remember, data protection is not just a legal obligation; it's a cornerstone of a responsible and ethical business.

Lastly, always seek legal advice when in doubt. The updated GDPR is complex, and even well-intentioned businesses can unwittingly fall foul of the regulations. With proactive measures and ongoing vigilance, your business can navigate the world of data protection with confidence.

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