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ODPA provides plain English guide and drop-in sessions

The Office of the Data Protection Authority (ODPA) is offering practical guidance to all Bailiwick organisations via a free guide to the transitional aspects of the data protection law, and fortnightly drop-in sessions.

Transition: a plain English guide for organisations offers advice to local organisations ahead of 25 May 2019 when the 12 month transitional period of the law ends.

There are several complex areas that did not come into force when The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017 was introduced in May 2018, the same day as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The guide gives a plain English overview of each of these areas in turn explaining the steps organisations need to take to comply with them.

Emma Martins, Data Protection Commissioner, confirmed the importance of providing guidance to the regulated community.

‘As with any law, data protection legislation is full of technical and legal language which is challenging even to experts. Data protection is not just for lawyers, it matters to us all so we must ensure that the rights and obligations the law sets out are presented in an accessible and straightforward way, using jargon-free language. At my office we are committed to communicating as clearly and concisely as possible in everything we do. Encouraging understanding of and engagement with data protection means we can all benefit from ensuring it is done well.’

In the new guide, the ODPA follows a hypothetical local estate agent, called Moving & Shaking, to put the advice in a real-world context and help explain these complex areas of the law. The 14-page guide is available from the ODPA offices in St Martin’s House, Le Bordage, or via

In addition to the plain English guide, the ODPA is also hosting fortnightly drop-in sessions. From 13 March onward organisations can visit the ODPA’s office between 09:00 – 12:00 every other Wednesday. The aim of these sessions is to give organisations regular opportunities to ask questions, and discuss any issues. The next session will be held on Wednesday 27 March, and a calendar of the dates for 2019 can be found at

Organisations will soon be able to request a ‘study visit’, whereby small groups of staff from a regulated organisation can explore a specific issue or topic in more depth with a member of ODPA staff.

DOWNLOAD: Transition: a plain English guide for organisations

Q. What is transition? 
A. When The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017 came into force in May 2018 there were several complex areas that were given ‘transitional relief’. This means that organisations were given an additional year (the transition period) before they had to comply with those more complex aspects.

All of the ODPA’s advice on transition can be found at: – this includes ‘Transition: a plain English guide for organisations’, as well as:

  • A more technical summary
  • The legal document that gives a full technical outline of the transitional aspects of the Law [The Data Protection (Commencement, Amendment and Transitional) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Ordinance, 2018]
  • Details of all Bailiwick citizens’ legal rights under the Law
  • Details of the Seven Data Protection Principles that define all organisations’ legal responsibilities
  • How to seek consent correctly under the new Law
  • How to incorporate data protection by design and by default into your activities
  • Specific guidance on Data Protection Impact Assessments (including screening questions, a suggested template, and how to link the seven data protection principles to your impact assessment)
  • Q&As

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