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Data Protection Act 1998 – Are You Using Lexis InterAction to Support Compliance?

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During 2014, more than 170 law firms were investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for potential data breaches. This shows the scale of the data security problem in law firms and potentially across other professional services organisations too. Indeed, the data protection challenge is growing manifold in this digital age and the ICO has already warned barristers and solicitors that a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) could result in fines of up to £500,000.

The fact is that the majority of data protection breaches take place inadvertently, but the consequences can be severe – not just in terms of financial penalty, but more critically by way of reputational damage. If you have Lexis InterAction deployed in your firm, the system can support you in complying with the eight principles of the DPA. InterAction can help you devise and enforce organisation-wide, transparent and robust data protection policies – encompassing areas such as what personal data to collect, how to keep it up-to-date, who should be allowed access it, and so on.

For principle by principle insight into how InterAction can be leveraged for compliance, please review this document.

In addition, do be aware of potential changes either to the law or to its interpretation. In this digital age, as technology evolves and the business environment changes, the ICO will continue to periodically issue guidance and codes of practice in an attempt to ensure that individuals are protected according to the most up-do-date interpretation of the law and its application to new scenarios. Legislative changes to the UK law are also coming in the next couple of years following the reform of the EU data protection Directive, that the UK law implements. Therefore, it’s critical that you comply with the legislation as it stands today – otherwise the complexity of making modifications to accommodate the new Regulation will become much harder.

Please also get in touch with your Client Advisor if you would like to discuss this issue in more detail. This does not constitute legal advice of course, for which it is advisable to seek guidance from a data protection officer or solicitor.

For more information on the principles, you can visit the ICO website too.

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:

Fiona Jackson has spent over 15 years implementing and working with InterAction in professional services firms, including legal and accountancy. In these in-house roles, supported by InterAction, she managed marketing communications, devised and implemented business development strategies as well as trained and mentored fee earners. She worked closely with internal clients to understand their business processes end-to end and guided them in utilising the 'intelligence' gathered via InterAction to help them be successful at customer relationship management.

Fiona was previously a Client Advisor for five years at LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions; and was often described as "an extension to our business" by her clients. She has now returned to the company to drive an InterAction ‘repositioning’ project for a large London law firm. Fiona is also working with other firms to help them align CRM to wider business development strategies. She specialises in strategic and tactical CRM best practice, and as an expert in devising user adoption strategies, her experience in rolling out and repositioning InterAction as a business tool is proving invaluable to clients.

Fiona is mother to two teenagers, who keep her firmly on her toes. Living in Hertfordshire, she loves walking, is often found obsessing over the latest box set and enjoys all that country pubs have to offer. She also has a spectacular Gin collection of her own. Recently, Fiona has discovered a love for cooking – the varying degrees of success hasn’t stopped her from continuing to giving it a go!

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