Thursday 12 April 2018

RDJ and Willis Towers Watson co-host GDPR seminar in Galway.  

Galway, 11 April 2018 – The countdown is on for Irish Businesses to prepare for changes to data protection law with today marking 43 days until the new legislation comes into effect.

“Everybody who holds and handles personal data must look at what personal data they hold and what they are doing with it. That is at the very heart of GDPR”, according to Seamus Carroll, Head of Data Protection at the Department of Justice and Equality.

The GDPR was ratified in 2016 following four years of negotiation, replacing the existing directive on data protection. Unlike an EU directive, which can be implemented over a certain time, the regulation is made law once it begins in May, meaning penalties can be imposed from day one.

The regulation is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe and to protect citizens’ data privacy. It not only applies to organisations within the EU but also to firms that do business inside member states.

If companies fail to comply with the regulation, they can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover, or €20m.

As head of the Data Projection Unit he said there were a number of key points to GDRP: increased transparency, more accountability and a strong emphasis on security.  

The event at the g Hotel was hosted jointly by global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson and leading law firm Ronan Daly Jermyn.

Time is running out for businesses to prepare for GDPR on how they store customer and employee personal data, speakers told attendees.

With the changing legislation fast approaching Michelle Ryan, Ronan Daly Jermyn gave a detailed 10 point plan for organisations to follow when preparing for the upcoming changes. "GDPR is a serious regulation with the potential for fines that dwarf those under the existing laws” says Michelle Ryan. “It is crucial that organisations start taking steps now to prepare for compliance”

The seminar also covered the importance of a cyber savvy workforce with Susan Cavanagh commenting that “employees are an Organisation’s weakest link and strongest defence”. A recent Willis Towers Watson Cyber Survey demonstrated that the cause of 66% of cyber breaches were a result of employee negligence or malfeasance.


Pictured (L-R): Susan Cavanagh, Account Executive, Willis Towers Watson, Seamus Carroll, Head of the Data Protection Unit, Department of Justice and Equality, Michelle Ryan, Solicitor, Ronan Daly Jermyn and JP Gilmartin, Partner, Ronan Daly Jermyn who spoke at the seminar 'How prepared is your business for GDPR?' co-hosted by Ronan Daly Jermyn and Willis Towers Watson at the g Hotel Galway
Photo:Andrew Downes,
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