Aploq’s guide to GDPR and what it means for our customers

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Aploq’s guide to GDPR and what it means for our customers

 

What is GDPR, and what does it mean?

The General Data Protection Regulations or GDPR for short is the EU’s long awaited update of the 1995 directive of the same name. It was announced in April 2016 but won’t come into force until May 25th, 2018.The outdated data protection directive 1995 was far too broad in regards to what it specifically covered. The aim of the new directive is to give control of personal data back to EU citizens and to simplify the regulatory environment for companies doing business with the EU. So rather than having 28 different standards of data protection to comply with, the new GDPR directive gives companies one set of rules to follow.

Who needs to comply with GDPR?

Any company, business or even website that has visitors or clients that are EU citizens needs to comply. This includes any business around the world who are in possession of personal information of anyone living within the  Europe Union.

What does GDPR protect exactly?

GDPR is not new. It protects exactly the same data as the old GDPR. Here is what’s new:

  • You have a right to request your data to be permanently deleted (but only if we don’t need them to comply with other regulations, like Labour Code or Accounting Act)
  • You can request your data to be made available to another company
  • We need to be very thorough when choosing the outsourcers processing your data, like cloud-based services, accounting office, IT service
  • The penalties for not complying  are as high as 20,000,000 EUR

 

Here’s the list of what’s covered;

 

  • Your basic identity information such as name, address, ID numbers, and usernames
  • Web data such as your location, IP address, cookie data and RFID tags
  • Your health and genetic data,
  • Even Biometric data,
  • As well as racial or ethnic data, political opinions, and sexual orientation

 

What promises are Aploq Translations making to comply with GDPR?

We promise to request client’s and vendor’s permissions to process the data.

We promise to gain special consent from users who wish to get our newsletters and offers.

We promise to proof and update our IT security policy to comply with the requirements.

We promise to audit our suppliers to make sure they comply and provide the requested level of security.

 

All in all, GDPR sounds scary, but as a user, It gives you the power to take control of your data. If you have any doubts or questions, feel  free to contact us

Secret Polish Holiday Destinations

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Secret Polish Holiday Destinations

 

Poland is such a visually impressive country, but its so often overlooked as let’s be honest – eastern Europe isn’t everyone’s no1. holiday destination. We’ve previously written about Wroclaw and the Best polish phrases to use on holiday. To expand on this, this week we’ll be looking at the 7 of the lesser seen spots Poland has to offer.

 

 

Zalipie – the cutest village ever!

In eastern Europe, it’s really normal to have a little cottage in the country that you visit every weekend during summer. If you ever road trip through villages in Europe, you’ll probably see them and think nothing of them. Zalipie (Pronounced “Zal- i-pie” ) takes such pride in their summer cottages that the locals have taken great pain-staking pride in painting everything with simple yet beautiful floral designs. No surprise that its home to the well-known artist  Felicja Curyłowa.

 

 

The Coloured Little Lakes/Kolorowe Jeziorka

What was once a series of abandoned mines has been drastically changed into a place of natural beauty. When the mine was closed, the decision was made to turn the quarries into a public area due to the vast amount of surrounding forests. The scenery was further enhanced by allowing the natural minerals that were exposed during the mining process to color the waters, hence the name. Depending on the time of year that you visit, you can see three wonderfully coloured man-made lakes, which are the ideal secret retreat for summer breaks. Don’t let the color of the water fool you, it’s perfectly safe to drink, and even better for swimming in on hot summer days. This is a road trip must and located just outside of Wieściszowice if you were wondering.

 

 

Zamosc (Pronounced “Za-Moosh”)

This beautiful little city is known as the “Pearl of the Renaissance” as its one of the few surviving renaissance towns. It was built in accordance with some of the best Italian architects of the period to be the “ideal town” and that it truly is. It’s located in southeastern Poland it forms the southern part of the Region of Lubin. The town founder had three ideals in mind – an urban area for living, residential area and finally a fortress for protection.

 

 

Sandomierz – One of Poland’s oldest cities

While you’re in southeastern Poland, another must-see town is Sandomierz (Pronounced “Sandohmee-ehrzh”). The City dates back to the 13th century when the original town had been burnt down on three separate occasions by invading forces from the East known as the Taters. It was after the third time that the High Duke of Sandomierz decided on refounding the city, this time building it in from brick and stone as you see it today.

 

 

The Skull Church or Kaplica Czaszek

If ever there was a road trip must see, this is it! This very ordinary looking church is home to the skeletons of over 24,000 people. You’d probably assume they’re located around the back in the graveyard, but no, all 24,000 have been used to decorate the church interior. This is the result of a Czech priest and gravedigger effects which took over 18 years to put together. Built at the end of the seventh century, the priest and gravedigger took advantage of the many wars and disease in the region and often spent weekends looking for mass grave sites. At least all of their work hasn’t gone to waste, the church is still open to visitors. If you’re brave enough that is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Kudowa-Zdrój (Pronounced “koodova zdroi”)

This is our last secret spot of lesser seen Poland, which is perfect as it lies just between the skull church and the border of the Czech Republic. Kudowa is one of Europe’s oldest spa towns dating back to the 1600s. The Mineral water in the town is famous for its healing properties and curing disorders of the heart. But let’s face it, if you’re doing a road trip with your partner and he’s dragged you to the church of skulls, you deserve to spend a day here!

 

Bonus location! – Wieliczka Salt Mine 

Located nearly a mile underground the mine spans for miles underground with added value for money that the tour last over 2 hrs, bringing through the development of the mining process and displaying how the traditional methods worked. Towards the end of the tour, you enter the cavern which was hand carved by one of the workers. If you’ve got a few thousand euro to spare you can book it as a wedding venue and it’s worth every penny once you see it in person.

 

World poetry Day – Wislawa Szymborska

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World Poetry Day

 

Wednesday was world poetry day, so to celebrate, Aploq would like to introduce you to our most noteworthy poet, Wislawa Szymborska. Ms. Szymorska was the fifth Pole to win the Nobel prize for literature in the last century. In her early life, she was heavily influenced by the Stalinist propaganda that promised how Poland would flourish. You can see this from her work in the mid-50s which show her being led by the socialist realism dream.

 

This period only lasted briefly as, like many, she’d seen first hand the reality of the communist era and the challenges of living behind the iron curtain. Although she was living through one of modern history’s toughest eras, this hatred was channeled into producing some of her best work, giving it a fresh humor and wit. One of her most famous works, Utopia, is a fantastic example of how her hatred used to show off irony, play on words, and storytelling on a completely new level.

 

In the early 90s, we’re sure you know that Poland joined the capitalist free economy that the modern world enjoys. This is the reason why it wasn’t until 1996 that Szymborska was awarded the Nobel Prize. Sadly she passed away in 2002, yet her work was so highly respected that all of Poland went into a period of mourning at her loss.

 

Utopia

Island where all becomes clear.

Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.

Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here

with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,

sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:

the Valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned

and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.

Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.

Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,

and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches

turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave

and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathomable life.

By Wislawa Szymborska

From “A large number”, 1976

Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

 

You can read utopia here in Polish if you’d like to read the original. If you have any questions about polish culture or litrature, or just feel like having a chat, feel free to get in touch

 

Poland has a rich history of Nobel winners. Here’s our five literature winning authors.

1905

Henryk Sienkiewicz Literature
1924 Władysław Reymont Literature
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer Literature
1980 Czesław Miłosz Literature
1996 Wisława Szymborska Literature

 

5 women. 5 countries. The same story.

Posted on Posted in Bez kategorii, Business

Equal rights and women in business is a pretty hot topic right now. It’s also something we feel really passionate about. With the EU pay gap between men and women at an average of 16.2% per hour, it’s obvious why there’s a need for international women’s day. But will there still be a need for it in 10 years time? To try and answer this question, we’ve spoken to 5 different women with experience in 5 different countries to see if women really are facing the same issues worldwide.

 

There are over 126 million female entrepreneurs worldwide

The role of women in business is going through an exciting shift. Although in the UK women account for under a third of people self-employed, most of those started after 2008. Women now account for 17% of business owners in the UK, and if you take a look from a global perspective, over 126 million women run their own business worldwide. And most impressively, 30% of all US businesses are owned or run by women. Yes, we know we’re still in the minority, but we’re getting there, and that’s exciting 🙂

 

“Many male end-clients think that translation is “easy” as it’s such a female-dominated industry”

Having a female managing director ourselves, there’s no better person to give a perspective on women in business than Agata Rybacka. As our industry is very feminine, there really isn’t anything special about being a female business owner. Agata did note, however, that when dealing with end-clients, many male business owners do seem to think that translation is “easy” compared to industries like IT because of the fact there are so many women working in our industry.

With over 15 years in business, Agata has seen her fair share of pregnancies and discrimination issues. She’s come across lazy parents (both male and female), and parents who will do anything to provide for their kids. Having had to deal with women quitting their jobs the moment they find out they’re pregnant, she does understand why businesses tend to prefer hiring men because of stability, but Agata strongly believes it doesn’t have to be that way. As children have to be born and it’s something men simply can’t do, if dealt with right pregnancy and children don’t have to be a problem.

 

“Women have to work harder to prove themselves in such a male-dominated industry like IT”

With plenty of women’s support groups out there for women in business, we thought we’d get some more opinions. We had a chat with Iwona Gruszka who owns her own business helping women start and grow their business online. She teaches them how to use technology tools and put together solid strategies to maximize growth.

Iwona’s passion for working with women is clear – she loves how motivated they are and how willing they are to admit when they need help with something. For her, results are what matters – not someone’s sex.

Iwona gained a wealth of experience working in the USA and really appreciated that there are so many more equal opportunities in the US than if you compare it to Poland. However, having been involved in initiatives that help women in IT, she found that women had to work harder to prove themselves in such a male-dominated industry.

In both Poland and worldwide, women are seen as less professional by certain people and constantly need to prove themselves. Luckily times are changing, as many women are setting up support groups through Facebook for example, and the energy and enthusiasm to support each other is just amazing. As Iwona has heard on many occasions that women lack support setting up a business (even by friends and family), she feels that these support groups are more important than ever. More women are starting their own businesses after having children, which is brilliant.

 

“Polish businesswomen must fight for social acceptance”

Polish businesswoman Emilia Barska was also kind enough to share her views and experience about being a businesswoman in Poland. Generally, in Poland, women tend to be homemakers rather than business owners. You get 1 years paid maternity and have the option to take up to three years unpaid leave. This has left many business owners reluctant to hire young women. They think that as soon as they get pregnant they’ll never turn up at work again because of both the pregnancy and later on because of having to look after sick kids etc. However, considering the labour market right now, employers can’t afford to be picky.

Emilia told us that although women are taken seriously, they have to fight to make their dreams happen. Society as a whole often doubts a woman’s ability to run a business. In Poland, women really have to prove themselves. Women often decide to have a normal job with a stable income just because of the stability, even though they get paid less.

Fear is something that Emilia noted on more than one occasion. But why, in 2018, are we scared to follow our dreams? Having worked with numerous women, she noted the lack of support. Being able to support each other and not judge each-others life choices would be a dream come true.

 

“The Czech system is amazing for raising kids. But if you want to be more than a homemaker, you’ve got a fight ahead of you”

To give things a more international twist, Sarah, who manages our marketing and is also the managing director of Retro Digital, shared her thoughts with us. Being a mother of 2 and a business owner from a Czech/Irish business background, she’s noted that even though the two countries have very different systems, women are facing very similar issues.

In the Czech Republic, women get 4 years maternity leave which makes employers (sometimes far too openly) reluctant to hire young women as they don’t want to have to take temps on for such a long time. Women do also face a lot of judgment if they do go to work as men (and other women, too) often feel that a woman’s place is at home, raising kids.

Although the social stigma of being a working mum in Ireland isn’t there, childcare is a very big issue that’s driving women out of the workplace. As you only get 26 weeks paid maternity, unless you’re on a very low income, you have to pay for childcare yourselves after that. As most childcare providers are privately run, the costs make it pointless going back to work as you’ll be paying more than you earn, or at least as much as you earn, for childcare.

 

“Flexibility is the key when it comes to work, so I really appreciate different opportunities Aploq’s giving us. I can’t imagine a better place to work at this point of my life”

Here at Aploq, we understand we have no right to ask our staff about when they plan on having kids etc. We’re really lucky, though, that being such a close team we’re very open with each other. We really appreciate it when our team members come to us and tell us they’re pregnant or trying for a baby. That way, we can put measures in place to make it as easy for them as possible. We’ll start training their replacement so that they’re not too stressed with work and the team can adapt as easily as possible. We are genuinely lucky that all our team members understand these kinds of issues and are willing to help their colleagues out, no matter what.

There are 6 “Aploq babies” in total. We know what it’s like having kids and the fact they do get sick etc. As a mother herself, Agata is a firm believer that motherhood is the most vital job in society. She feels it’s an employer’s responsibility to be understanding of both mothers and children’s needs. And our proofreader, Agnieszka, goes to show that Aploq’s family-friendly attitude is paying off. She told us:

before becoming a mother of two, I never thought I’d be able to manage the challenges I had to face for the last 4 years but it made me a completely different person, empowered me, I feel stronger than before and I can tell myself straight in the face that I’ll manage anything without being sarcastic. Being a mum also taught me how to learn from my mistakes and improve without dwelling on them. And flexibility is the key when it comes to work, so I really appreciate different opportunities Aploq’s giving us. I can’t imagine a better place to work at this point of my life”.

Times are changing, but not fast enough

So, are things changing for Polish businesswomen? And women in general? The answer is yes, but it’s slow. It’ll take decades before women will be accepted as breadwinners just like men. Right now it’s unfortunately unthinkable that a woman will be as successful and as well-paid as a man. It looks like international women’s day is here to stay. But with more support, we can pull together and fight the social prejudice against women in business.

Aploq’s guide to advertising in Poland

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As Poland is still pretty new to free trade, the country had to create consumer legislation in 86’  to compensate for the lack up until then. So, what does that mean for companies looking to conquer the Polish market? This week we thought we’d go through all you need to know about advertising in Poland so that when you don’t have any nasty surprises along the way.

As we’ve just mentioned, Poland brought in consumer legislation back in 1986. In 1997, the legislation was amended to include comparative advertising. Under the new directive, any product trying to sell itself by copying another’s style or image, or that in any way deceives the Polish consumers, will be in trouble.

For the main part, Polish advertising regulations follow the EU Directives regarding advertising, and we’ll look at that shortly. Polish consumers don’t like being tricked into buying things. This comes from years of being conservative spenders plus being genuinely distrusting of the unknown. Historically, Poles have only made purchases when needed, but as the country has been getting more affluent, Polish people have come to like buying luxury goods. For more about Polish consumer habits, check out last week’s blog post.

What do you need to know about advertising in Poland?

Be yourself (comparative advertising)

When it comes making ads in Poland, have your own style. If you’re seen as trying to rip off someone else’s branding or make your product appear as if its related to an existing brand or product you’ll be in breach of The Union of Associations Advertising Council. You shouldn’t have to worry about this though. If your product or brand has its own image and hasn’t been in trouble for this before, you shouldn’t have any trouble in Poland.

Be honest (don’t mis-sell, mislead or secretive)

As we mentioned in the last point, if you’re advertising honestly, you shouldn’t have much to fear. But this does include avoiding using hidden advertising. Basically, if you’re you are selling via infomercials, state that it’s an advertisement and not a news show about how great your product is. When it comes to mis-selling or misleading advertising, this should be the same in all EU countries. Poland, however, is slightly different as it takes advertising directives very seriously, with the power to fine a company 4% of the previous year’s profits for serious breaches. But as long as you’re being honest, there’s nothing to worry about.

TV limitation

This comes under the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AMSD) which states what can and can’t be done on TV. Almost a decade ago, the AMSD decided to lift the ban on product placement and introduce a max 3hrs a day of advertising slots. They also have a max. 12 minutes advertising an hour, as well as specific codes of conduct when it comes to children’s programmes, but this mainly aims at limiting junk food advertising.

Tobacco

As you might have guessed the EU Tobacco Advertising Directive bans most advertising activities for tobacco products. Tobacco producers are not allowed to sponsor any kind of events, and advertising for anything remotely related to tobacco is also banned in Poland. The only exception is, however, that companies within the tobacco industry are allowed to be in touch via marketing comms.

Alcohol

Even though here in Poland we’re one of Europe’s most alcohol-loving countries, it is illegal to advertise any alcohol other than beer. And for beer, you have to make sure you’re not breaking the following rules:

  • Don’t advertise to minors,
  • Don’t imply that it’ll make you make you sexier, healthier, smarter or (This is real) succeed in life more
  • It’s played on tv, radio or in a cinema after 8 pm
  • Don’t put ads in youth publications
  • Don’t advertise on the front page of a newspaper or magazine

We know the alcohol laws seem a bit crazy. But the restrictions don’t apply to anywhere that sells alcohol I.E. in a pub or off license. And on the bright side, the alcohol restrictions are pretty relaxed compared to Ireland, where the annual restriction updates restrict the most obscure of things, for example in Ireland it’s illegal to advertise alcohol featuring an animal…. yep, madness!

We hope you’ve found this a useful guide to advertising in Poland, If you are thinking of advertising in Poland, get in touch and find out how we can help 🙂

P.S. Don’t be a pyramid scheme or name your shop  “closing down sale” or “liquidation sale”, they won’t be very popular!