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Situation: When I highlighted this some months ago that my company was not compliant with GDPR, the decision was made by management to consider it late June/Early July.

I believed this to be a big mistake (and still do, but I accept that it is not my place to try and overturn management decision) and I then acted inappropriately: challenging the decision by trying to have more meetings to discuss it, asking about it a lot (e.g. every time it came up in the news), spending time to do a compliant prototype, handing out copies of regulations with highlighted sections of non-compliant parts and penalties. Bordering on passive-aggressive.

As a result, my previously good reputation has been slightly damaged - managers ignoring emails, and I'm reasonably certain a number of people think less of me professionally as a result.

How can I undo this damage? Should I apologise to people? Do I ignore it and hope it recovers in time?

  • 1
    What country are you in? If outside the EU, the company may not consider that high of a priority. – Phil M Jun 7 '18 at 16:43
7

Perhaps you were slightly over-the-top, but in terms of company compliance you did the right thing. I was in a similar position and with some pushback until I told them they'd be eligible for massive fines if they didn't comply and then all of a sudden the attitudes changed. If your company still isn't GDPR compliant then they could well be in trouble. May 25th I believe was the deadline so July is far too late!

You've made your case and it was ignored so at least you can hold your head up high if there are further consequences

  • May 25th was the deadline. – WorkerWithoutACause Jun 7 '18 at 11:11
  • This is a good relevant personal anecdote. It doesn't seem to answer the question though. Would you mind expanding this a bit to address the OP's question? – Masked Man Jun 7 '18 at 12:54
6

Certainly only time will totally heal your reputation, but in the meantime I suggest you to approach to whoever manager you could have offend and offer your apologies. I would say that whatever was my opinion I overstepped and therefore I feel like I have to apologize. If it applies, you can consider to provide assistance in this transformation to GDPR when it takes place or any other way to show you accept the decision and that you will help to make it real

  • 9
    that, and absolutely resist the urge to tell them I told you so when they finally get in trouble for being late... – Daniel Jun 7 '18 at 9:27
  • Indeed, once a decision is taken and accepted, it becomes a team decision and there is no point in reminding your initial opposition – Ripstein Jun 7 '18 at 9:30
  • Time, and not repeating the mistake are the only cure here. – Mister Positive Jun 7 '18 at 11:20
2

General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

It was made April 2016 and went into effect May 28, 2018.

Penalties can be large. I am sure you pointed out the penalties and areas of non-compliance. It was probably not a good decision to delay but I am sure they understood. The law is not complex. It is the type of thing you say once I think you made a poor decision to delay and let it go.

By bringing it up again and again you not only annoyed them but put them is worse position. If a noncompliance is identified and it comes out that you warned them then they are not going to get the benefit of the doubt.

Just lay low and do your job. I think apologize will just antagonize them more.

1

While not knowing the reasons for your management to choose to overlook your point of view (perhaps they have a better reason), it maybe a case of a short sighted management (a fairly common thing in my opinion). Often times, unless you hold a position of authority to influence, my experience is that a detail oriented sharp employee's ideas are not heeded to. Until, of course, it's too late. I would personally continue to monitor and keep up to speed with the impact of the new regulation. It does two things - First, you will become a fairly knowledgeable individual amongst a sea of not so bright ones. Second, it you're looking for another job (where hopefully your perspectives are more valued) you'd be in a better place to talk about your experience about the topic and how you can make an impact.

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