The deluge of emails asking us to reconfirm our desire to be on mailing lists might have subsided now that GDPR has been in force for almost a year, but it is important we make protecting personal data a day-to-day part of our work, whether we are managing a customer list for a small business or sending marketing emails to hundreds of thousands of contacts for a major brand.
It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that GDPR will be coming into force this week on 25 May. From extensive internal discussions about how to ensure that customer data is handled correctly, to the increasing numbers of emails from companies asking us if we would like to continue to hear from them, the run-up to the implementation of the EU’s sweeping new data protection laws will have a significant impact on many organisations and many more workers.
The rules about processing peoples’ personal data are undergoing significant change this month, with the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe. The new law puts in place a uniform set of rules for processing personal data across the EU and beyond.
If there is one thing that defines the way that our economy and society are changing, it is data. From open data, like real-time public transport information and government statistics, to the increasing amounts of personal data that we all share as part of our daily connected lives, data has become indispensable to a degree that it never has been before.
Poor digital skills hold back individuals and businesses. Research carried out by Lloyd’s Banking Group in the UK recently found that 1.6 million businesses in the UK lack digital skills, and that this can lead to time wasted and decreased turnover. Studies into the cost of time lost to poor digital skills in the Netherlands showed that the country’s economy could be losing more than €19 billion a year. On a human scale, access to essential government services, from filing tax returns to registering a change of address or claiming benefits, increasingly relies on people’s abilities to use computers.
It has hardly been a quiet year in terms of IT security so far. The massive breach of a major international credit reference agency, disclosed in September, exposed the highly sensitive personal data of millions of people. A ransomware attack in May took down key IT systems around the world, and even caused UK hospitals to cancel planned operations thanks to the disabling of National Health Service computers. Apple lost the element of surprise when intricate details of their new iOS 11 software were leaked before launch in September.
Barely a week passes without mention of how artificial intelligence will transform our lives. Self-driving cars will make taxis a thing of the past according to some pundits. Computer-generated news stories will replace journalists, as is already happening in some particularly formulaic corners of the press. Even banking is seeing the spread of AI into investment decisions, loan approvals, and trading.
ICDL is the starting point for Ufunguo Scholarship Beneficiaries in Kenya, which is an education initiative by the Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT). This initiative helps the less privileged in society attain quality ICT skills. Beneficiaries have gone on to acquire job placements or advance further in their studies. Here is Mary’s Usaji’s story.
Niina Aarnio was selected as an ECDL global winner in 2006 for the determination she showed in turning her life around and in achieving ECDL certification. Nina was awarded the ECDL / ICDL – A Brighter Future Award at a ceremony in Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 2nd, 2006.
In 2009, ex-radio presenter and a specialist in radio broadcasting, Adrian Davids from Eersteriver in the Western Cape of South Africa, became the first blind student to obtain ICDL certification.