A SEMINAR dealing with the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) which will come into force in May 2018 has been held by a Cradley Heath law firm.

The event attracted more than 70 business people from across the region, with guest speaker on the evening being Chris Knight, a barrister from 11 KBW Chambers in London and one of the UK’s leading data protection lawyers.

Tim Lang, George Green LLP partner, who hosted the event said: “We arranged the event due to the level of demand from clients. The GDPR is a very hot issue at the moment and businesses are particularly worried about the potential fines.”

Companies could be fined up to up to four per cent of annual worldwide turnover or 20 million euros for violations relating to breaches of the data protection principles, conditions for consent, data subjects rights and international data transfers.

Mr Lang added: “The message from Chris was that the GDPR involves evolution not revolution. Many of the GDPR’s main concepts and principles are much the same as those in the current Data Protection Act, so if businesses are complying properly with the current law then most of their approach to compliance will remain valid under the GDPR and can be the starting point to build from.

“He also reassured businesses that it’s very unlikely that huge multi million pound fines will be imposed on SMEs for non-compliance.

“However, there is no room for complacency and all businesses should be preparing fully for May.”