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Privacy Tracker | DPAs, firms, researchers offer GDPR guidance one year ahead of implementation Related reading: From PSR: Consent is major ePrivacy sticking point for EU bodies

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Thursday, May 25, marks an important day for anyone immersed in the data protection world: In one year, the EU's General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect, meaning noncompliant businesses will start facing potential fines up to four percent of an organization's global annual turnover. 

To mark the moment, several EU-based data protection authorities have released new data and guidance on the upcoming regulation. The IAPP has launched a new blog dedicated to the data protection officer, and Hogan Lovells has released a new mobile app geared toward the GDPR. Researchers and thought leaders are also offering guidance ahead of the massive implementation. 

Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner has released a new study conducted by Amárach Research, which found that 26 percent of businesses do not know when to prepare for the GDPR. Eighty-three percent were unable to name any GDPR changes for their company, while 70 percent of small- to medium-sized enterprises were unaware it goes into effect a year from today. 

The Irish regulator has also launched a new GDPR-focused website called www.GDPRandYou.ie. The goal is to help educate businesses — particularly SMEs — in their preparations. The DPC has also released a 12-step guide and a video, as well as other tools. 

"As of today," Ireland DPC Helen Dixon said, "we have one year to go before the implementation of the GDPR, and the DPC is here to assist companies and organizations understand the steps they need to take on their journey toward GDPR readiness. Through our engagement with industry and organizations for all sectors, as well as our new website which will be regularly updated with new guidance, our aim is to drive awareness of the new law by providing information and guidance that will assist organizations to be GDPR compliant by May 2018." 

The U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office has also released new material to help businesses prepare for "the biggest change to data protection law for a generation." In a video addressing corporate boardrooms, ICO Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said, "If your organisation can't demonstrate that good data protection is a cornerstone of your business policy and practices, you're leaving your organisation open to enforcement action that can damage both public reputation and bank balance. But there's a carrot here, as well as a stick: Get data protection right, and you can see a real business benefit." 

The ICO has also updated its toolkit for SMEs, launched its Information Rights Strategic Plan, and relaunched its 12-step guidance on GDPR preparation. 

Regulators aren't alone in trying to assist companies preparing for the GDPR. Hogan Lovells announced Thursday that it has released a new mobile app to assist organizations in identifying practical steps toward compliance. Called GDPRNow, the app was conceived in-house by the firms' Privacy and Cybersecurity team. 

Hogan Lovells Partner Eduardo Ustaran, CIPP/E, said, "Our new app ... will help identify what matters the most and what compliance steps should be prioritised. GDPRNow is the result of our experience working with companies across all industry sectors that are looking for a clear roadmap for compliance." 

Covington Burling has also released a checklist for employers located or with staff in the EU. The 10-part checklist includes "key considerations for employers and human resources professionals preparing" for the GDPR. 

Forrester Principal Analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo examines the GDPR in a new podcast countdown to the regulation. In addition to describing the implications of the GDPR, Khatibloo offers guidance on preparing for it, as well. 

In a column for AdAge, Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint argues the GDPR's rules "are scary but right." In his post, Kint breaks down how the GDPR will affect consumers, advertisers and publishers. He argues, "The application of this regulation is also likely to eliminate current friction (goodbye to awful EU cookie notices) and offers easy ways to turn consent on or off using long-defined but mostly ignored Do Not Track signals." 

To be sure, the complexity of the GDPR will complicate compliance efforts, but you can be assured the IAPP will be here to offer you tools and insights to help you operationalize this massive and important data protection regulation. 

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