GDPR - Problem or Opportunity?

GDPR - Problem or Opportunity?

After four years of preparation and debate, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was finally approved by the EU Parliament on 14th April 2016.

The EU GDPR replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. Its purpose is to synchronise laws on data privacy throughout Europe and to align how organisations handle data privacy.

It will enter into force on 25th May 2018 - at which time those in non-compliance will face the risk of heavy fines – up to 20 million Euros or 4% of global turnover annually (whichever is higher).

GDPR - Problem or Opportunity?
GDPR - Problem or Opportunity?
GDPR - Problem or Opportunity?


Like most organisations, we are grappling with the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation. As a responsible business in our own right and as a highly reputable data supplier, AFD has always been extremely aware of the issues of Data Protection. As we have climbed the mountain in all aspects of our business we are now even more aware than ever of data, processes, and security. We have looked under every stone and into each corner.


When it comes to how AFD Software can help your organisation in relation to GDPR compliance we know that our main contribution is in the realm of contact data accuracy.

The regulations are clear - Article 5.1 of the GDPR states that “Personal data shall be: (d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay”.

So, what could go wrong?

Getting contact data right has two central aspects. Accuracy at the point of collection, then keeping it that way.

An unclear delivery address, an incomplete name, a mis-keyed email address or phone number can lead to the intended person not receiving the communication, the goods or the services. Worse still, the delivery may go to the wrong person. People make mistakes, in fact mistakes are very easy to make. The cost of mistakes to your organisation can be considerable. This is not just about keeping a new regulation – it is about retaining your customers, maintaining your reputation and reducing the costs of correction. It’s about repeat business and loyalty.

When address data was originally collected it may have been accurate. But address data changes. Over the past 12 months alone, there were over 90,000 changes to addresses and nearly 500,000 new addresses added to the Royal Mail PAF file. So what can you do?

GDPR - Problem or Opportunity?

Act NOW!

As a first step, we recommend you upload all address data on your systems to our free secure, confidential data-healthcheck service. This will produce a clear report showing you the condition of the data. After you receive the report one of our experienced data consultants will be able to help you navigate what to do next.

A second step is to conduct a “Gap Analysis” on your data capture and entry systems. Where is the data entered? Who is entering the data? Onto what systems? What data is being entered? How is each data item being validated? How and when is it reviewed? We have produced a simple template to get you started.

AFD’s Gap Analysis Template helps you to conduct an audit of what Basic Personal Data is entered (keyed) into what system, database or website.

Basic data means Address, Personal Name, Email Address, Landline, Mobile Number and Organisation Name.

The template makes it easy for you to record whether or not each data item is validated at the point of entry. After completion, a simple filter will show you a list of all systems, databases, and websites where a data item is not yet being validated and maintained. You can download the free template from

If you can share the results with us – we can advise you how to get to a better place.

It is worth remembering that the AFD range of name, address, bank and email validation software is ready to help with your organisation’s GDPR compliance.

Our team of experienced data quality consultants are ready to help. Book your free personal data quality consultation with Joel Miller on 01624 811 709 or email