Demystifying the GDPR: How to deal with complex regulations
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of regulations designed to protect the personal data and privacy of individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). Implemented in May 2018, it has had a major impact on how companies handle data.
Understand the General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to all companies that process individuals’ personal data in the European Union and European Economic Area, regardless of where the company is located. This means that even companies outside the EU/EEA must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) if they handle personal data of EU/EEA residents.
The regulations cover a range of areas, including data protection, consent and the rights of individuals. It also imposes strict penalties for non-compliance, with fines of up to 4% of global annual turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater.
Key GDPR requirements
Companies subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) must comply with several basic requirements, including:
- Obtaining consent to process data
- Protection of individuals’ data
- Granting individuals the right to access and erase their personal data
- Notify authorities of data breaches within 72 hours
- Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for large-scale data processing
Navigate GDPR compliance
GDPR compliance can be a complex and challenging process for businesses, but there are several steps they can take to navigate the regulations effectively:
Educate your team
Make sure your team is fully aware of GDPR requirements and their impact on the business. This includes providing training on data protection principles, handling personal data, and understanding individual rights under the GDPR.
Conduct a data audit
Conduct a comprehensive data audit of your business operations, stores and posts. Identify the types of personal data you process, the purpose for which it is processed, and how long we will retain it. This will help you understand the scope of GDPR compliance requirements.
Update privacy policies
Review and update your privacy policies to ensure they are GDPR compliant. This includes providing clear and transparent information about data processing activities, obtaining valid consent for data processing, and informing individuals of their rights under the GDPR.
Implement security measures
Take steps to secure the personal data your company handles, including encryption, access controls, and regular security assessments. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires companies to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.
Managing data subject requests
Establish processes to handle data subject requests, including requests for access, correction, erasure, and data portability. Make sure your company can respond to these requests within the timeframes specified under the GDPR.
Assistant Data Protection Officer
If your business engages in large-scale data processing or processes sensitive personal data, consider appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to oversee GDPR compliance. The Data Protection Officer must have specialist knowledge of data protection laws and practices.
GDPR compliance challenges
Despite the steps companies can take to comply with the GDPR, there are several challenges they may face in navigating the regulations:
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a complex set of regulations with numerous requirements and obligations. GDPR compliance requires a deep understanding of data protection principles and the ability to apply them effectively within a company.
Complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can be expensive, especially for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to invest in data protection measures and compliance efforts.
Changes in data practices
Companies may need to make significant changes to their data practices to comply with the GDPR, including implementing new processes for obtaining consent, handling data subject requests, and managing data breaches.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has significant implications for companies that handle personal data, and navigating the complex regulations can be a daunting task. However, by understanding the basic requirements of the GDPR, implementing effective compliance measures, and addressing compliance challenges, companies can successfully navigate regulations and protect individuals’ personal data.
Remember to stay up to date with the latest guidance and advice from data protection authorities to ensure ongoing compliance with the GDPR.