[Project] A new project co-funded by the European Union under the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, ARC: (Awareness Raising Campaign for SMEs) has been launched on 1st March 2020. ARC is coordinated by the Croatian Data Protection Authority (AGENCIJA ZA ZASTITU OSOBNIH PODATAKA (AZOP)) and partnered with the Research Group on Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS) of the Vrije University Brussels (VUB) and the Irish Data Protection Authority (DPC).
The ARC project aims to make aware the SMEs about their duties towards the compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In contrast to the previous privacy related statutes, the present regulation took a swift turn from obligation to compliance. Now, obligation became important indicator to know before entering the European market, but the compliance is necessity to it. The GDPR understands no-discrimination policy against market-players except providing a few lines of support to SMEs in order to comply with its provisions.
The ARC project will help SMEs in complying with their obligations under the regulation. Not only this but also the project will answer to queries regarding implementation of the GDPR which will be raised by SMEs. Due to restrictive knowledge about the duties under the regulation, less financial and human resources, and minimal skill and training to implement the law as it is, SMEs’ pressure could easily be felt in domains like legal awareness, how to reach to answers of issues raised by customers, what regulatory duties they have against a specific right of an individual, etc..
The ARC project will fulfill its objectives by:
- Providing questionnaires to grasp the actual status for a particular issue(s),
- Running surveys to identify needs of SMEs,
- Based on that survey, preparing educational and training materials about the GDPR,
- Organizing onsite consultations in several cities of Croatia and Ireland. The consultation will enable the SMEs to resolve their specific problems,
- Organizing two international conferences, one in each abovenamed country, in order to exchange the experience and to show the best available practices, and
- Publishing the outcome of the project.
The ARC project is committed to increase in the existing understanding and knowledge among SMEs on the principles of data protection law. Interestingly, the outcome will be published digitally for free of cost and for everyone. After coming into force of the GDPR, countries over the globe pushed forward their government to come up with similar law which protect privacy and data of their subjects. Many of them have implemented such law and the rest are struggling to have it as soon as possible. So, the after-effect of the ARC project is going to help not only the SMEs and data protection authorities based in the European union but also to other similar business entities and alike departments around the world. Though SMEs of Croatia and Ireland will be chosen as the direct beneficiaries of the outcome of the ARC, residents of these two countries and SMEs of other European countries will indirectly be benefited from this.
You all are warmly welcome to follow-up the 24 months long eventful project ARC wherein you will have the news about and results of the survey of 300 selected SMEs in Croatia and Ireland, chances to join 32 onsite consultations in 27 cities, chance to be a participant of 2 international conferences, and you will also be benefited by 2 consecutive publications for summing-up the gist of the ARC project.
For further information about ARC please visit the project’s website. You’re also cordially invited to follow ARC’s development on Twitter at as well as on LinkedIn.
If you are a SME, we cordially invite you to participate in our online survey especially designed for you to help by knowing your understanding about GDPR, problems in the application of GDPR. Please follow this link to participate in the survey.