Project ARC - AWARENESS RAISING CAMPAIGN FOR SMEs
THIS PROJECT HAS RECEIVED FUNDING FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION'S RIGHTS, EQUALITY AND CITIZENSHIP 2014-2019 PROGRAMME UNDER GRANT AGREEMENT N°874524.
DURATION OF THE PROJECT: 30 MONTHS, FROM MARCH 2020 UNTIL AUGUST 2022
COORDINATOR: AGENCIJA ZA ZAŠTITU OSOBNIH PODATAKA (AZOP)- CROATIAN PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION AGENCY
BENEFICIARIES: DATA PROTECTION COMMISSION IRELAND (DPC), VRIJE UNIVERSITY BRUXELLES (VUB)
Considering Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons regarding the processing and free movement of personal data (General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR), national Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) are required to take action to reach stakeholders through awareness-raising activities among business entities, in particular geared toward small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The new European regulation – GDPR – is the most important change in data privacy regulation in the last few decades. It harmonizes the data privacy laws across Europe; it will protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and will reshape the way SMEs across the region approach data privacy. Failure of SMEs to prepare themselves for the adequate implementation of the policies and regulations concerning the data and processes they deal with, shall have great impact towards the growth of the SMEs customer relationship, client satisfaction, trust and brand image, and the economy in general. For these reasons, the GDPR's adequate implementation and a “step-by-step” guided methodology shall have great impact not only on the SMEs GDPR compliance, but on their reliability and trustworthiness as a business partner to work with.
Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency (Agencija za zaštitu osobnih podataka-AZOP) and Data Protection Commission Ireland during their every day work noticed that there is still a lot of ambiguities in the application of the GDPR by the SMEs. These findings are also supported by a large number of written queries and even greater number of phone calls which this two authorities receive on daily basis. It is essential to emphasize that SMEs are still struggling with the implementation of the GDPR and sometimes do not even know how to begin in order to align their business activities with the GDPR requirements.
Through this project AZOP and DPC will have an additional opportunity to help these subjects in full GDPR implementation and in understanding the importance of the personal data protection.
Overall expected direct result of ARC project is increased knowledge and improved understanding on data protection among SMEs.