PHS Datashred alarmed at lack of EU data reform knowledge in UK

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DATA security experts are calling for the EU to do more to educate British businesses on the financial impact of proposed changes to the law.

PHS Datashred

PHS Datashred a shredding services company, said struggling British firms could be hit with an unexpected ‘tidal wave’ of cost associated with compliance to new European data laws if they are not prepared.

The proposals to change the law relate to the way data is handled and managed and British companies are expected incur significant costs in appointing data controllers to comply.

Around 87 per cent of businesses are unable to estimate the costs of the draft proposals to their business according to a survey of 506 businesses by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The report also found that 40 per cent of companies do not fully understand any of the ten main provisions being proposed and that none of the survey respondents could accurately describe all of the ten provisions.
Anthony Pearlgood, managing director of PHS Datashred, said:

“British businesses need more clarity on the financial impact of these proposed changes to the law. It is clear from talking to our customers that they do not wish to be hit with a tidal wave of unexpected costs. We are alarmed by the findings of the ICO and it is clear the EU needs to do a better job to educate and inform more British businesses during the remainder of 2013 of what their financial commitment is realistically going to be.

“There is undoubtedly a requirement to bring the regulations into the 21st century but it should not be done before businesses are able to assess how much it will actually cost them. The Ministry of Justice has estimated the costs at anywhere between £40m and £120m. We feel this is too wide a range and we need more accuracy. We are playing a role by working with our customers to help explain the regulations and what they mean but we are calling for a stronger push to secure more accurate information on the costs by the European Commission and our own Government.”

Facts about PHS Datashred a shredding services company and the PHS Group

  •     PHS Group was established in 1963 and is now one of the largest workplace service providers in the UK
  •     In June 2001, PHS Group plc began trading on the London Stock Exchange in what was one of the biggest flotations of the year
  •     At flotation, the company was valued at £414 million. In September 2001 it was admitted to the FTSE 250 index
  •     In September 2005 the PHS Group was de-listed from the Stock Market, reverting to private ownership by Charterhouse in an acquisition valued at £600 million
  •     PHS Group employs almost 5,000 staff, has over 100 branches in UK and Europe and provides services to over 250,000 customers
  •     Annual turnover, for the year ending March 2010, was £355.6m

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Caroline Williams
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