Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1008/27893

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 September 2018

GDPR data laws: Punishing workers for human mistakes

  (Click to enlarge)

Willie Clarke

It is nearly three months since the EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force and my fear that many workers will be disciplined and sacked for making ordinary mistakes with no malice is beginning to be borne out.

I have made a couple of mistakes - emailing an internal document with no confidential information to a customer, sending something else to the wrong customer which bounced back because I had typed the email address incorrectly and leaving a voicemail on the wrong phone number.

While these acts were careless, they in no way compromised anyone's privacy. In fact, I doubt whether a person would ring a company to say that they had been left a voicemail meant for somebody else if there hadn't been the hysteria prior to GDPR's introduction.

The law seems to make no distinction between the genuine mistakes that I have just described and selling people's data without permission. This has got many employers running scared.

My employer made reference to the eye-watering fines that can be levied rather than the invasion of customer privacy.

In practice, the courts would make a distinction. I doubt my employer would be bankrupted by my actions if they ever came to court.

The 'information campaign' that preceded the introduction of the legislation deliberately exaggerated the effects of breaches of the act and, of course, that kind of thinking helps the capitalists.

Personal data under capitalism has become a commodity in the same way as sugar or bananas and therefore is regulated.

I wouldn't be surprised if the legal profession were lobbying for such legislation in the anticipation of a few lucrative and high-profile court cases.

The publicity from the Information Commissioner's Office accepts that the vast majority of transgressions will be the result of common distractions and lack of concentration.

They will give away no information, not make anyone more liable to being blackmailed or lead to anyone's relationship breaking down.

Yet many employers will take decisions on what was highly unlikely to happen rather than the real effects of individual acts of carelessness.

The majority of cases of loss of personal data have been caused by managers and those in senior roles.

Managers are far more likely to have contacts interested in buying confidential information and are much more likely to have access to such data in the first place.

Every company that has been in the embarrassing position of 'losing' personal data is still trading.

It really is hypocritical of capitalist governments to pass laws supposedly defending the right to privacy while stepping up the surveillance state often targeting left-wing activists and trade unionists as 'the enemy within'.

It is doubtful whether this legislation would have had the same reach if there had been a bold and combative trade union movement prepared to take on the bosses.

GDPR should be abolished and replaced with legislation that genuinely protects our privacy without punishing workers for making human mistakes.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 September 2018:


What we think

Unions must lead in fight to kick Tories out

Labour: Blairite wreckers must be given the boot

Theresa May's 'Chequers deal' mauled by Johnson and EU: fight for a socialist Brexit!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight racism, fight capitalism!

Legal Costs Fund Appeal launched for former Derby TUSC election agent

Birmingham Socialist sales success

Obituary: Stan Herschel


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tory and Blairite racist policy is behind Windrush fatality

Self-harm soars among young: fight the mental health crisis

Them & Us

Capitalism in crisis: news in brief

What we heard


PCS union

PCS union: build the fight for a pay rise and against austerity - re-elect Chris Baugh

DWP: PCS union builds fightback on pay

PCS members in Land Registry demand 6% pay rise


International socialist news and analysis

Germany: violent attacks in Chemnitz - how can the far right be stopped?


Workplace news and analysis

Shop workers hungry for 10 an hour now and an end to zero-hour contracts

Guards continue fight against driver-only operation following Merseyrail victory

Higher education ballot: vote Yes and strike for pay and equality!

Housing workers walkout forces improved pay deal

Liebherr Sunderland strike continues


Opinion

A day in the life of a carer: "I am having trouble feeding my children on my wages"

The Socialist inbox

GDPR data laws: Punishing workers for human mistakes


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 September 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Privacy:

trianglePrying Conservatives demand yet more powers to invade our privacy

triangleHuddersfield and Halifax Socialist Party: Privacy and the surveillance state

triangleCon-Dems and Labour fast-track 'snoopers charter'

triangleCrackdown on democratic rights

EU:

triangleThe fog of Brexit

triangleTUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

triangleThem & Us

triangleTheresa May's 'Chequers deal' mauled by Johnson and EU

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

19/9/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

19/9/18

Ireland

How Irish strikers fought apartheid - and establishment anti-apartheid leadership

12/9/18

The Socialist

The Socialist inbox

12/9/18

Football

When working class women dominated football

5/9/18

privacy

GDPR data laws: Punishing workers for human mistakes

5/9/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

5/9/18

Care workers

A day in the life of a carer: "I am having trouble feeding my children on my wages"

5/9/18

Retail

Shop workers hungry for 10 an hour now and an end to zero-hour contracts

29/8/18

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

22/8/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

22/8/18

Workers

Union bureaucracies, soviets and workers' power

22/8/18

Palestine

Ahed Tamimi - worldwide symbol of self-esteem in face of oppression

8/8/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/8/18

Glasgow

Protests win temporary halt to refugee evictions in Glasgow

25/7/18

Obituary

Obituary: Ged Travers 1957-2018

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999