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AN industry expert has warned that firms need to take steps now to comply with the government’s new Data Protection Bill or face fines of up to £17m.

Anil Jain is head of digital agency MediaBase Direct, which has offices in Segensworth and London.

Anil has welcomed the new Bill, which states that people can ask for personal data, or information posted on social media when they were children, to be deleted.

Anil said: ‘It is a much-needed overhaul of UK data protection laws, making them more robust and relevant to today’s world.’

‘Digital data capturing and handling is a complex and confusing issue, which is why I urge company directors to take expert advice now.

‘I fear many businesses are sleepwalking their way to disaster, unprepared for new rules giving people control over personal information.

‘Companies must act today to not fall foul of these stringent new regulations regarding personal data. I predict many smaller businesses will inevitably face fines.’

The bill replaces the 1998 Data Protection Act.