GDPR: Important Things Your Business Needs To know

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GDPR: The Term Elaboration

GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is the biggest data privacy regulation developed by the EU, shadowing the previous data protection directive of 1995. The rule came into effect on 25th May 2018, giving EU citizens primary control over their personal data. It entails the security of personal data handled by organizations that operate in the EU and those enterprises connected with the EU, imparting a worldwide focus on how data should be stored and processed.

Even though the regulation was like a wildfire within the EU and its business extensions, organizations beyond the boundaries still lack sufficient information on the very applicability and the scope of GDPR. The set of rules have put the customers in the driving seat, and at the same time, aided businesses in the EU towards hiked reliability and trust with effective compliance.

With the set of imposed regulations, organizations require effective compliance to handle personal data. There are now hefty penalties for privacy violations. Data protection and privacy must be the priority for any business, and GDPR compliance ensures the same. Before diving towards GDPR compliance attestation, let us understand the defining variables, extended scope and reflections that bound the essential standard.

10 key facts on GDPR that businesses need to consider

1. What are the scopes and boundaries of GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation, although rooted in the EU, has its extended territorial scope towards organizations in other countries that hold branches, service connections or does monitoring of EU data behaviours. Any organization that bridges its services to EU data comes under the scope of GDPR and require compliance. The very scope extension has ignited the regulation as a global law aimed at the privacy and protection of its data subjects regardless of the point of origin. Despite being an EU mandate, the scope extensions tie up almost every country that holds business service relations in the EU.

2. What are the major GDPR consent requirements?

GDPR require organizations to get the data subject consent before using their personal information. Data consent is one of the legal bases that justifies business data collection and its processing. The consent must be free and not reflecting any conditional data subject cornering. It must be specific and well informed on every intended data processing activity connected to the subject. The consent must be unambiguous and revocable, indicating a flexible option for customers to withdraw their consent at any point of time concerning the validity or violation of any basic agreed principle.

3. What personal data gets reflected under GDPR?

GDPR requirements circle almost all data that touches the organization through any ways that uniquely identifies a person. It also covers the data fetched through websites like the IP address and physical device information. Here is the complete array of data information protected under the GDPR law;

  • Basic identity information (name, address, email id, user-generated data)
  • Web information (location, cookie data, IP address, RFID tags)
  • Biometric data (physical measurements & calculations like the retina, fingerprint etc.)
  • Health/genetic data (inherited or acquired genetic data & health information)
  • Racial/ethnic data (data that identifies race and ethnicity)
  • Sexual orientation (sexual or gender identity)
  • Political opinions (personal political views or stand)

4. What are the basic rights to data privacy?

GDPR compliance protects 8-basic rights for users connected to data privacy and protection.

  • Right to access: Data subjects can request access to their data and query upon its use, processing, and storage facilities.
  • Right to be informed: Data subjects should be prior notified through data consents before processing their data.
  • Right to correction: Data subjects have the very right to rectify or correct any inappropriateness concerned with their data.
  • Right to be forgotten Data subjects have the right to erase their information or withdraw the consent if they are no longer the customers.
  • Right to control processing: Data subjects have the right to cease the data processing or could restrict its usage.
  • Right to data portability: Data subjects can transfer their data from one service provider to another at any instant of time.
  • Right to be notified: Data subjects have the right to be notified (within 72 hours) in case of breach convergence or any detected data compromises.
  • Right not to be subject to an automated decision: Data subjects have the right to demand human involvement rather than relying upon automated decisions.

5. Will my business require audits and compliance services?

GDPR compliance services or audits are a way of making your organization stay adhered to the required standard in its most intrinsic manner. In the case of third-party service providers, they must demonstrate effective compliance with GDPR to their supervisory firms by conducting audits/ inspections prior to service engagements. GDPR compliance services can aid your organization in aligning technologies with GRC, flow analysis, gap identification, impact assessments and developing action plans to mitigate any risks that come by. In addition to the advisory controls and mitigation plans, a qualified GDPR auditing firm conducts training sessions, awareness programs and strengthen your data protection policies.

6. What companies should know on breach reporting?

Considering the case of a breach convergence or a data threat incident, GDPR set the limit for organizations to notify within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach. The data protection officer or a DPO must instantly provide notification to its customers upon breach identification. Any organization failing to deliver breach notification within the specified time will have to walk through hefty penalties as per the directives of GDPR. Many of the data protection laws within various countries give less space for breach notification and reports, and that’s where GDPR glitters as the golden standard concerning safety and data privacy.

7. Is Cloud-based storage exempt from GDPR?

Cloud computing and storage is the rising trend and has been shaping business with huge storage and feature benefits. These cloud storages house large chunks of data but are those providers compliant enough to store and handle confidential data? GDPR gives no exemption to cloud storage, and the providers strictly need to adhere to GDPR compliance requirements. Organizations should not think that their cloud providers will be compliant by default and need to perform due diligence. They must also ensure compliance in all integrated systems and available facilities for the very protection of information.

8. Is there a requirement for DPOs?

Data Protection Officer or a DPO ensure organizations apply to the laws that protect individual data. The position assists in internal compliance and advises on data protection obligations. The person holds other duties such as monitoring data operations, data storage, training and regulatory controls regarding data privacy and protection. When approaching the question that shoots the necessity of a DPO, organizations will require the position based on the size of data processing operation. Some common examples are public organizations, organizations engaged in monitoring and handling large chunks of user data, healthcare organizations etc. Your DPO can be your in-house professional or else an outsourced professional who should serve as a point of contact between your organization and GDPR authorities.

9. What penalties stick to your path of non-compliance?

General Data Protection Regulation stresses the value of the personal information of the EU citizens that extends as a global law beyond the scope. Where data is the most valuable asset an organization holds, compromises can lead to hefty fines and penalties. Non-compliance to the regulation can be as high as 4 % of the organization’s global turnover or $24.4 million, whichever is higher. Similarly, GDPR imposes penalties on improper breach notifications extending the time limit specified by the authority. The hefty penalties state that organizations can’t just turn their heads away from the regulation and the very significance of data protection.

10. What will be the cost to comply with GDPR?

Consider the situation of GDPR non-compliance, and your business got data breached. Think of the hefty fines that your organization would face. Or else think of the future reliability and trust your customers would invest in your organization. It is pretty much more than what GDPR compliance services round up, and here is the very significance of GDPR compliance companies and security audits.

The cost may apply to some if not all the following;

  • GDPR audits and gap assessments
  • GDPR impact assessments
  • GDPR policies & procedures
  • GDPR training & consulting services
  • DPO as a service

Summing Up

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the golden standards in the data privacy regulations and is soon to be the universal data protection policy. Even though its scope has large reachability beyond borders extending to the UAE, the US and many more, the significance and compliance requirements are less analysed. With pandemic lit on one side and rising information breaks on the opposite end, information security and assurance are a wide concern. GDPR compliance is a reliable tool that offers organizations the needed safety adherence towards handling personal information. Any enterprise looking for a GDPR compliance certification should be ready to accommodate compliance requirements and furnish the required transparency in data handling.

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