The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most stringent data protection regulations in the world. It ultimately is designed to protect personal data or personally identifiable information (PII) of EU citizens. And if your business interacts with and is storing the data of an EU citizen, you will be subject to fines and operating license revocations for non-compliance.
Some GDPR specialists say that there is no such thing as being 100% compliant. In fact, it’s more about taking a look at data and processes from an ethical standpoint and not so much about tools or checklists. But each organization has their own way of doing things. Ideally, you have to learn and understand how certain areas of your business collects, processes, discloses, stores, and deletes data. Use this guide as a starting point to being GDPR-compliant:
Know the key concepts regarding GDPR
It’s not just about fixing your website or sending out opt-in forms. You need both technical and legal implementations. As such, understanding key concepts is a big first step. Some principle terms below will help you navigate GDPR:
- Data subject – any person whose personal data is processed by a controller or processor
- Data controller – the entity that determines the purposes, conditions, and means of processing personal data
- Personal data – any information related to a person or “data subject” that can be used to identify a person directly or indirectly
- Data processor – the entity that processes data on behalf of the data controller
Remember, many departments handle customer data. All of their personnel must be given proper GDPR compliance training, not just IT staff. GDPR compliance isn’t a one-man show. There are different levels of key personnel in your company such as HR, IT, marketing, and security teams that interact with your customer’s data. They should be aware of what the GDPR is all about by giving them the proper training and education.
Related article: What is GDPR and how does it affect your business?
Invest in the right technology
In order to manage costs and react quickly to opportunities, threats, and challenges, you must analyze technological gaps in your organization and implement secure solutions. The GDPR stipulates that technological and organizational measures must be appropriate, which is deliberately vague since best practices are constantly evolving. This means the regulation leaves it up to organizations to keep their solutions updated.
For example, some organizations have invested in automation because the exploding volume and variety of data is almost impossible to keep track of manually. Businesses are deploying technologies that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to help them save time and resources, and reduce the risk of human error. This is done by enabling them to identify manual tasks that can be replaced with an automated approach.
Report data breaches
Sadly, data breaches are constantly happening, and it could be difficult for many companies to strive for compliance while being on the lookout for threats. Moreso, with GDPR, organizations are mandated to make sure they have the right procedures in place to detect, report, and investigate internal and external breaches.
Related article: What happens if you violate GDPR?
Be smart while setting up your data breach matrix and make sure to base it on severity, number of subjects affected, type of data affected, etc. Typically, you must report data breaches to the supervisory authority within 72 hours or face substantial penalties. GDPR violations on notifying regulators and impacted individuals will carry a penalty of up to €10M or 2% of a company’s worldwide annual revenue from the prior fiscal year, whichever is greater.
Monitor and audit
The GDPR is leaving a lot of room for improvement when it comes to protecting individuals. Data flow audits for example, will help you identify the information in your organization, how they move, where they are stored, etc. When auditing, remember to include testing your incident response plan, audit your auditing mechanisms, and evaluate customer-facing materials.
Anothing big thing is the forthcoming ePrivacy regulation, which will bring even more transparency on Big Data and will shed light on occurrence and purpose of analytics. This should encourage you to monitor and audit your data flow on a regular basis.
Related article: Implementation challenges to GDPR
Businesses should remind themselves of the added value of being GDPR-compliant and must look at how they can use it to their advantage. Take note that compliance is a legal requirement and putting the proper technology and procedures in place will give you a good foundation in the long term. Additionally, know that well-governed data creates more confidence in its use and mitigates privacy and security risks.
When it comes to GDPR compliance look for a partner who can be of most help to you. Prosum has the expertise you need to help you operate worry-free in the EU. Give us a call today.
This article is Part 4 of our GDPR series. If you missed Part 3, check it out here or read our epic post on GDPR below: