28 Sep

ABTA ‘de-mystifies’ GDPR at its Data Protection and Cyber Security seminar in Manchester

On 25 May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in the UK. Every travel business handles personal data including customer details. It is it crucial you understand the changes and are prepared.
On 21 September, over 70 people attended ABTA’s practical seminar on data protection and cyber security in Manchester. Following the success of ABTA’s first data protection seminar earlier this year, this event was the second in the series on this topic and was held in partnership with Travlaw. 
ABTA’s Director of Legal Affairs Simon Bunce kicked things off by highlighting the importance of data protection, particularly for travel companies. Travlaw’s Partner Farina Azam then spoke to delegates explaining what the key issues and key differences in the new legislation are.
The rest of the day saw attendees get practical advice and guidance around crucial aspects that companies will need to address before the May deadline. Topics ranged from accountability and governance through to contracts, audit guidance and changes to creating privacy notices.  
Throughout the day, Simon Bunce brought to the group’s attention the guidance notes and documents ABTA offers to its Members. Most recently, ABTA has updated its guidance around privacy policies. To access this and other guidance materials, please click here.
Delegates also tackled the issue of GDPR’s impact on marketing. Simon Blanchard from Opt-4 gave a thorough run through of how campaigns will be affected and what to do to prepare for this. The DMA’s Zach Thornton revealed that GDPR may have a positive effect on the relationships between businesses and consumers, with recent surveys suggesting that over a third of marketers believe it will improve relationships with consumers who are currently calling out for more control.
Delivered by Travlaw, the afternoon focussed on preparing for, and responding to, data breaches. 
Martin Swann representing the seminar’s co-sponsor, Vantage Insurance Services opened the afternoon with an informative presentation on current cyber security risks. Martin discussed the costs associated with data breaches and advised the group on what insurers look for from companies when assessing their premium. Led by Travlaw, the panel discussion saw Simon Bunce and Edward Williams from Trustwave outline the latest threats and how to mitigate risks. There were many questions from delegates not least around protecting and educating a businesses’ largest resource – its staff.
The day concluded with a lively workshop led by Travlaw’s Luke Golding. Luke took the group through various data breach scenarios and together attendees came up with a step-by-step response of the approach to take. 
We’d like to thank our event partner Travlaw, who put forward a team of data protection and travel experts to moderate and deliver content throughout the day. Feedback already confirms that the day was a hit with delegates, with many referring to it as a great way to begin the process for the change and a good way to take the fear out of GDPR.
ABTA’s next Data Protection seminar will be held in early 2018. More information will be available shortly.