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GDPR: data processors and data controllers – are you ready?


Call centre service providers should now be making essential preparations for GDPR: the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation which officially takes effect May 25th, 2018 through a new Data Protection Act.

The most notable change for call centres who handle customer data is the changed status of data processors and data controllers.

Currently, there’s a very clear differentiation between the two.

As a data processor, the “my client instructed me to do so” argument, is generally acceptable. However, it won’t be post-GDPR.

GDPR puts the responsibility on data processors to be confident that the data they are handling is being used appropriately and compliantly.

The final details of how the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK data protection regulator) will interpret   GDPR are yet to be confirmed, but you can get a good idea of   what’s to come by visiting the ICO website .

Currently, almost every month, the ICO takes enforcement action on a few organisations active in the customer acquisition and direct marketing industry.

Typically, action is taken against companies you’ve most likely never heard of, and they are fined for reckless mistakes.

What do we expect the ICO investigate post GDPR?

Most likely, the ICO will investigate the liability of Data Controllers and Data Processors under GDPR.

They are likely to question:
  • Did you have customer consent to make the call?
  • How did the customer give consent?
  • Do the client contracts evidence this?

The ICO has provided a twelve-step plan to help organisations prepare for the GDPR. It sets out advice around making sure key decision makers know the law around personal information is changing, documenting the information the business holds, and reviewing privacy notices.

Elizabeth Denham, UK information commissioner at the ICO said: “I want organisations to think to themselves ‘we base our online user experience around what consumers want. We shape our products and services around what consumers want. We need to shape our data protection approach around what consumers expect’.”




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