What’s legal, may not always be the right thing to do.

Nowadays everyone is aware of the data protection issues. Meaning your customers, your B2B cooperation partners, authorities monitoring your business. Privacy issues is a common theme in the news. As a consequence, customers have become more demanding. They really want to know how their personal data is processed.”

This is how Elina Koivumäki believes and we at the Nordic Business Ethics Network fully agree with this view.

We had the opportunity to talk with Elina Koivumäki about ethics and law in our latest Ethics Talk podcast. Also known as the ‘singing lawyer lady’, Elina is a Finnish lawyer and CEO of Lexperience who has comprehensive experience working with numerous organizations in their GDPR projects. Now it’s time to reflect and look back what have we learned in 2 years. In addition to GDPR, we will talk with Elina also on how Covid-19 has been visible in her work.

How does the post-GDPR era look like?

The General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, came into full effect in May 2018. What kind of an impact has this privacy law set out by the EU had in the past two years?

The GDPR has raised a great deal of discussion regarding its contents and consequences on organizations as well as individuals since its implementation. By reason of its vast media attention, no one has been able to close their eyes to this new law on data protection and privacy. According to Elina, this phenomenon has been a positive one for a number of reasons.

#1 Personal Data Issues Have Become More Prominent for Customers

The GDPR has succeeded in one of its major goals: empowering customers to get more interested and aware about the use of their personal data. Today, customers are interested beyond law. The ethics of data collection is as topical as ever, and the means of processing personal data have faced greater attention.

#2 Partner Choice Has Become More Selective

Organizations have become more demanding with respect to who they collaborate with. Ability to demonstrate that privacy matters are under control is a huge business advantage.

#3 Interest Toward Data Protection Increased in Organizations

Nowadays, it is not merely data protection officers who show interest for data protection practices but various parts of organizations have found a connection to privacy and sees data protection as an integral part of their processes or business proposal.

#4 The Rise of Ethics Talk

Organizations are no longer interested in only legal issues but also the ethical side: even if the law allows one to collect data, should it be done?

“Even if the law allows one to collect data, should it be done?”

COVID-19 and Its Impact on Work

COVID-19 has led to many dramatic changes, which have also had a direct impact on work. As stated by Elina, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of data protection and privacy as well as ethics in work.

Data Protection and Privacy

Organizations have raised a concern about their right to reveal whether one of their employees is diagnosed with coronavirus.

Contract Obligations

The spread of the coronavirus has caused parties to consider the need to amend or cancel their contracts
In her work, Elina has been able to assist organizations with analyzing contracts and deciding on when and how to legally exit an existing agreement, what obligations to fulfil and how to apply force majeure clauses.

To summarize, today it has become more important than ever to look at the business environments holistically – considering also the ethical side of businesses and processes. Companies have a great opportunity to grow their businesses and build reputation by demonstrating greater responsibility and ethical considerations.

Missed the podcast?

This blog post is written based on the #ethicstalk with Elina Koivumäki.