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The Facilities Event Live: Data protection as a facilities enabler

10 April 2019

Despite all the marketing by fear and rumours that the world would end in May 2018, in the end GDPR landed with all the grace of a Chinese moon landing, Mike Gillespie, managing director at Advent IM, told delegates at The Facilities Event today (11th April).

However, much like the dark side of the moon, the real benefits to businesses of truly embracing good data protection practices remain largely hidden from view, he said. 

The goal of Gillespie's presentation, he said, was that "I want you to look at data protection in a different light so you go back to your businesses and say 'this is something I want to do'".

Gillespie began by explaining that despite popular belief, you do not need somebody's consent in order to collect, process and use their personal data - if you can meet one of the following requirements:

The collection, the use and the storage of that data: 

- is necessary for the entering into or the provision of a contract or service

-is necessary in order to pursue or investigate the potential to enter into a contract 

-is necessary in order to protect the individual's vital interest and protect them from harm, for life, health and safety

-is necessary for the pursuant of your business objectives as laid down in statute regulation or more

-is necessary for the legitimate interest of the business as long as it does not fundamentally infringe the rights and freedoms of the individual.

"And only when you've exhausted all of those things should you consider thinking about consent - consent is the last option", Gillespie emphasised.

"Too many times over the years I've been told 'you can't do that because of data protection'. if someone tells you that then ask them which part explicitly says you can't do that because invariably you'll find it's policy by myth."

Gillespie went on to look at the benefits that can be leveraged by organisations by having a real world understanding of the data protection act 2018 and GDPR, and how, far from preventing business, if done properly, it can actually enable greater data analytics and improve business efficiencies.

"Where are all our information assets? Do we even know about them all?. If not, then you're missing a trick," Gillespie said.

"If we know about all of our legitimate information assets, we can move from data to insight and make good business decisions," he added.

For instance data from buildings, security and people can be combined to create information and insight that becomes a whole new valuable asset, he said. 

In this way data protection is your friend, as it makes for ethical data aggregation and insight.

But for this to work, the data needs to be accurate and accessible.

Gillespie concluded by saying: "Don't be so scared of your data assets - if you have permission to use them, then do." 

He also urged delegates to protect this new asset they have created.

"If you aggregate data sources to build business tools, do it mindfully and protect your new crown jewel.

More free educational seminars will be taking place at The Facilities Event on Thursday 11th April. 

To find out more please visit: https://www.facilitiesevents.com/fm-seminars