Monthly Archives: March 2017

An introduction to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): What you need to know

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With a whopping 2.5 quintillion bytes of data now being produced every single day, the debate around data privacy is showing no signs of slowing down;  consumers and businesses are still asking the same fundamental question – how, where and by whom is our data gathered and stored? This issue is at the heart of the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Designed to bring more transparency and structure to data protection, it is the first major legislative change to European Data Protection law since Directive (95/46/EC) in 1995, which regulated the processing of personal data.

Despite the importance of this regulation, lots of British companies are seemingly unaware of it. This has been partially due to indecision on the part of UK businesses about whether to invest resources in achieving GDPR compliance, given the lack of clarity around the power of European directives and acts post-Brexit. However, following the UK government’s confirmation that it will implement the GDPR, despite the decision to leave the EU, businesses will need to be compliant by 25 May 2018 or face enforcement action.

In light of this, now is a good time to look at exactly what the GDPR is, what it will mean for UK businesses and how your organisation can prepare for it.

What is it?

Simply put, the GDPR is the new regulation framework to create tighter limits on the processing of personal data and give greater rights to individuals. It essentially protects the right of European residents to regain control over how their personal information is shared and used. It will apply to EU-based organisations, as well as the data processing activities of those who target EU data subjects – meaning that if your business is involved in the acquisition, use, transmission, storage, destruction and breach of personal data in any way, you will be affected, regardless of whether your business stores or processes data on EU soil.

The act contains eight principles data processors must abide by when it comes to personal data – these include provisions that data need to be processed fairly and lawfully, be obtained only for specific purposes, be accurate and kept up to date. Finally, anyone holding the data must take measures to protect it, with data not transferred to a country outside the EU unless that country also has rules in place to adequately protect it. There are also new limitations surrounding consent, as data owners must grant separate consent for different processing activities and can withdraw them at any time, or have their data erased under the GDPR. Furthermore, if a company has already made information public, then they have an obligation to pass the deletion request along to others.

It is important to note that GDPR only applies to Personably Identifiable Information (PII), which may comprise a very small percentage of an organisation’s data. However, GDPR covers a wide range of PII and can include URLs, pseudonymised data, physical data and so on. Personal details such as email, for example, may not hold PII and therefore do not need to become part of the compliance envelope.

Why you should care

As discussed, the GDPR will define how organisations can collect, use and transfer personal data. Not only will businesses need to adhere to local laws governing information retention in every market they operate in, but they also need to re-evaluate their individual business requirements and risk appetite. Failure to comply with the GDPR risks a maximum penalty of either €20 million or 4 percent of worldwide turnover (whichever is greater) – it can cost your business money, reputation, credibility and more. Equally, the first organisations to become compliant can use it as an accolade, highlighting that personal data is safe in their hands.

In addition, service providers or ‘data processors’, which  were not previously subject to the more restrictive aspects of data protection legislation, will also now be affected. Organisations that use third parties will have to ensure that their data provider complies with the regulations as, in case of a breach, both data processor and data controller will be considered to have shared liability and will be penalised. Furthermore, all public authorities and organisations where core activities involve ‘regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale’ or large-scale processing of ‘special categories of personal data’ will be required to employ a dedicated Data Protection Officer.

Always be prepared

Ahead of the GDPR, it is very likely that most businesses will need to overhaul their framework to ensure compliance and that they are aware of what data they hold, why they hold it, where it’s kept and how long it should be kept for. They will also need to re-think what data is actually needed to manage business and employment relationships.

Organisations will be required to build a transparency framework that re-thinks how they engage with individuals, from contracting and permissions processes to providing clear and comprehensive information on how they handle personal data. The next step is to review contracts with third parties, and include a right of audit in their contracts. As part of this process, there is a huge education element involved. Regular data protection training will of course be required and will have to be extended to contractors and other third parties.

Becoming GDPR compliant will no doubt be a long and laborious task, but will also be a significant achievement, and potentially one of the screening criteria for tenders in the future. Let’s not forget that all businesses handling personal data will be required by law to become GDPR compliant by 25 May 2018, so it’s crucial to start planning and revisiting your data strategy today.

Welcome to Liberty, FutureDial!

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Liberty is excited to welcome on board the latest client to our San Francisco HQ, FutureDial.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, FutureDial is the leading provider-of-choice of mobile device processing solutions for Wireless Carriers, Retailers, Mobile Device Buy-Back Trade-In companies, Third-Party Logistics, and ITAD Providers. It has appointed Liberty to provide public relations communications and counsel, with Liberty supporting FutureDial’s core North American business and its ongoing operational expansion in Asia and Europe.

2016 was a record year for FutureDial, marking its highest recorded business volume. Given year-end residual value averages, FutureDial solutions processed over $6 billion worth of smartphones worldwide, within secondary markets. Looking at 2017, mobile device processing volume is expected to further increase with more trade-ins and buy-backs. FutureDial offers its customer base of mobile device reverse logistics operators, wireless carriers and retail operators powerful software to receive, triage and clear devices via its proprietary Lean One-Touch™ as well as its other solutions, which all improve efficiencies and increase throughput for faster turnaround times in mobile device processing operations and retail centers.

Dee Gibbs, Founder and Global CEO at Liberty, said: “We’re delighted to be working with a market leader such as FutureDial. Mobile device processing is a very dynamic market driven by the continual evolution of mobile technology to offer ever greater functionality and increased processing power. Our goal is to reinforce the position of FutureDial at the forefront of mobile device processing and strategic solutions through innovative insight, thought leadership and compelling storytelling.”

Thomas Rayas, SVP Marketing & Customer Success for FutureDial, commented: “Liberty has a reputation for their focus on mobile technology and telecom markets, which aligns well with our go-to-market strategies. Liberty’s communication efforts are already yielding positive results and we look forward to a successful partnership.”

We are thrilled to welcome FutureDial to our list of clients!

Introducing: Grace Simpson

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Tell us a little about your background:

My background is in professional dance, which is perhaps a little unorthodox compared to most in tech PR. I graduated from Northern Ballet School in the Summer of 2012 and traveled for 2 years abroad Celebrity cruise ships performing in their theatre productions and teaching ballroom dancing. I was lucky enough to explore the southern Caribbean, Norwegian Fiords, Russia and Scandinavia as well as the more familiar sights of the Mediterranean.

Whilst this experience was truly amazing the constant changes involved in this career had me pining for a more stable profession, so, I hung up my dance shoes and moved to London in 2014 and had a brief venture into sales and event planning with Wimbledon based music agency, Earcandy. At the end of 2016, I  joined Liberty’s work experience program. I felt drawn to tech PR in particular because of the rapid pace: on a day-to-day basis I might be looking at anything from AR to cyber-security, and staying on the pulse with the media and latest technology advancements is really exciting.

Why are you excited to support Liberty and our clients?

During my initial experience at Liberty, I was struck by the dynamic and creative atmosphere just as much as I was by the exciting prospect of working with such a wide variety of clients, all at the forefront of technology today. I see no better way to learn about this fascinating industry than by being exposed to such a wealth of shared knowledge and experience and of course the ever changing and developing landscape of technology itself.

What are some of your hobbies?

Given my background in the arts I have at times been obsessive about fitness and nutrition. Some of this remains (though thankfully with less of the original intensity) as I regularly run to decompress after a long day. I love to cook for my fiancé, family and friends as eating together has always played a fundamental role in my understanding of family time from childhood to now. I also salsa dance at various clubs in the city from time to time but deny that this is any sort of prep for an elaborate first dance!

What was the last book you read/song you listened to?

The last book I read was Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. I studied World War I  and II  literature during my schooling and find they offer important perspective for life today; and there’s nothing like losing yourself in the facts or fiction.

The last song I listened to was 1999 by Prince. I’m ashamed to say I’m only just educating myself since his music has been available on Spotify -but I love it!

Introducing: Jim Lubinskas

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Tell us a little about your background:

I was born and raised in Connecticut but attended Catholic University in Washington D.C. and ended up staying in the area. I studied philosophy and, while I enjoyed my classes, I decided there was not much of a job market for philosophy majors. Hence my move into public relations.

I have nearly 20 years of public relations experience in agency, association and corporate environments. This includes directing PR campaigns for clients including: Microsoft, Cisco, USA TODAY and Monster Government Solutions. I have also worked with smaller companies and start-ups to create media strategies and generate market visibility.

Why are you excited to support Liberty and our clients?

I couldn’t be more excited to have joined Liberty, and looking forward to supporting its clients.

In fact, I will be moving to San Francisco for both family and career reasons, which is a great position to be in. The San Francisco area is home to some of the greatest technology brands and visionaries in the world. Any tech PR professional would be thrilled to work in this booming area which is home to many key journalists and influencers. This is especially true with regard to Liberty, as we are continuing to build out our San Francisco office to grow alongside the thriving tech sector in Silicon Valley. It is a very exciting time and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

What are some of your hobbies?

I have two young kids so that takes up a lot of my time. I like to stay in shape with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, boxing and kickboxing. I also love music, movies, books and hanging out with family and friends.