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Everything You Need to Know About GDPR

Everything You Need to Know About GDPR

In 2018, the total cost of cybercrime defense was over $1 trillion dollars, so it’s easy to see why some people lobbied for a law to help reduce cybercrime. On May 25th, 2018, an EU data privacy law was enforced. This law is known as “General Data Protection Regulation” or GDPR for short.

GDPR applies to all organizations operating within the EU, but those organizations offer goods and services to anyone located within the EU. If you don’t comply with the GDPR, your company could be facing harsh penalties; therefore, it’s vital that you have all the necessary information about this law, so you know how to act accordingly.

What is GDPR?

The GDPR is a regulation made to strengthen the protection of all EU citizens, return the control of personal data to the citizens it belongs to, and also impose stricter security and data privacy requirements on organizations. The previous legislation that was in place stated that name, address, and photos were personal data; however, GDPR extended this definition of personal data and made it possible for IP addresses, genetic data, and biometric data to be considered personal data.

This regulation is a necessary update to previous rules and regulations as customers now need more protection than ever from outside threats such as data leaks and cyber-threats. To find out more about GDPR, visit this Prolifics – GDPR guide. It will equip you with all the details you need to know about this complex but crucial law.

What Is GDPR Compliance?

For an organization to comply with the GDPR, it needs to meet specific requirements. While it may seem complicated at first, all of the GDPR requirements can be broken down into seven basic principles.

Obtaining Consent

In order to collect and use customer data, companies need to get the consent of their customers. This consent needs to be easily given, and the terms of consent must be clear and written in a simple language that any user can understand. This means that you’re not allowed to use any complex language that was designed to confuse customers. Additionally, the customer has the right to withdraw their consent at any time freely.

Timely Breach Notifications

In the event of a security breach, organizations are obligated to report it to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours. If a breach is likely to result in risk to the rights and freedoms and lead to a social or economic disadvantage for a certain customer, the company is obligated to inform the customer. They are required to do this via a breach notification that needs to be delivered directly to the victim of a data breach.

Right to Access Data

Any customer that has provided your organization with their data has full access to that data at any time. This means that if a customer asks to see their existing data profile, you’re obligated to provide them with it. This data profile should be a free, fully-detailed electronic copy that also states how you’re using their information.

Right to Be Forgotten

A customer’s “right to be forgotten“ is also known as the right to data deletion. It states that once the original use or purpose of the customer’s data has been realized, the customer can request that you erase all of their personal data. As long as there is no ground for this data to be retained, the organization needs to respect the customer’s right to be forgotten and permanently delete their information.

Data Portability

As already stated, customers have a right to their data, which they can obtain from you. Then they are free to do with this data whatever they want and reuse it outside of your organization if they wish.

Privacy by Design

A special section of GDPR states that companies need to follow privacy by design. This means that the proper security protocols need to be in place for everything from the very beginning. When you’re designing your data collection systems, you need to ensure network security and that your business is as safe as possible from potential breaches.

Data Protection Officers

The terms of GDPR state that some organizations are required to hire a data protection officer (DPO), but this rule doesn’t apply to all companies. A data protection officer, also known as a DPO, is a person who is responsible for overseeing an organization’s data protection strategy. There is no set criteria for who can be a data protection officer or what kind of qualifications they need. All that is stated is that they need to have professional experience.

Anyone who wants to make sure that they have all the necessary skills and staff to be compliant with the GDPR legislation can hire a DPO, but it’s only mandatory for the following businesses:

●       Organizations that carry out large-scale processing of special categories of data

●       Organizations that implement large scale monitoring of individuals such as behavior tracking

●       Public authorities

If a company that is required to appoint a data protection officer fails to do so, they will be considered non-compliant with the GDPR and be issued a fine.

What Happens to Companies That Aren’t GDPR Compliant?

Any organization that hasn’t been GDPR compliant has received hefty financial fines, and the consequence for non-compliance in the future will be the same. While these fines are huge, the amount of money to be paid depends on the offense the organization is found guilty of.

Serious offense penalties can range from €20 million, to 4% of the organization’s annual revenue, regardless of which amount is larger. The higher level fines are reserved for the following cases:

●       Data infringement occurring within an organization.

●       Procedures for handling data aren’t in place.

●       An unauthorized transfer of data occurs.

●       Requests from customers to access their data are ignored.

There are also lower-level fines that are €10 million, or up to 2 percent of the organization’s annual revenue, which is still a considerable amount of money. These fines apply to the misuse of data on a minor scale, such as failing to report a data breach or failing to administer the correct data protection protocols.

Final Thoughts

Even though GDPR is a complex topic, you hopefully understand it better after reading this article. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t resist this legislation, but embrace it, as it’s here to help protect your customers.


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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.