Take These 6 Key Steps to Become GDPR Compliant

Take These 6 Key Steps to Become GDPR Compliant

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Not all of us are GDPR compliance specialists, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore data privacy and protection; particularly if you are running a business. Note that being GDPR-ready is not a one-off requirement, but an ongoing approach.

Trusting the inviduals with whom we share our data is a major aspect of how online businesses run. When anorganisation needs their users’ personal data to run its services, they have the right to know why and how their data will be used, so they can make an informed decision about the service. For this reason, GDPR exerts greater responsibility on companies and enhances the rights of users.

For GDPR compliance, you don’t require searching for a template as every company has its own way of doing things. Consider developingeffective data privacy and protection strategieson the basis of your specific situation. Ideally, you may need to explore all areas of your business while focusing on how you gather, process, store, disclose and delete information.

Thesteps explained below will act a guide to help you achieve GDPR compliance.

Know the Basic Concepts

Achieving GDPR compliance is more than just fixing your website. It should involve your whole organisation.

In only some situations, businesses do not process information altogether. However, in the majority of cases, different key personnel (IT, HR, marketing, etc.)interact with consumers’ data. Hence, they should be aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is not a one-man show, and you require both legal and technical implementations. Here are some terms you should know about:

  • Data Subject: A real person whose personal data is processed by a processor or controller.
  • Data Controller: The entity that decides the conditions, purposes, and means of processing personal data.
  • Personal Data:Any information pertaining to a real person or data subject that you can use to identify that person, indirectly or directly.
  • Data Processor:The entity involved in data processing on behalf of the data controller.

Actions to Take for GDPR Compliance

You may need to take action in a couple of areas:

  • Data Mapping:Asa key step towards GDPR compliance, you should know how data flows within your company. Documenting the same and by creating an inventory will aid you in demonstrating that you comply. Moreover, mapping the data flow will assist you in identifyingthe areas, where GDPR compliance issues may arise. Note that processing operations can only be performed only if the data controller can depend on a lawful basis.
  • Privacy Policy: Review you existing Privacy Policy and update it. This is the first spot, where your visitors will check for GDPR compliance. You must convey to people the legal premise for data processing, retention duration, the right to raise concerns when people are not happy with your execution, whether or not their data is subject to automated decision making, and the customers’ rights under the GDPR. Moreover, you must offer the information in a crisp, easy-to-comprehend and simple language.
  • Training: GDPR is basically a business-change approach. The individuals you work with should need to understand the importance of data protection. They should be trained on the basics of GDPR and the requisite procedures must be implemented to ensure compliance.

Next Steps to Take for GDPR Compliance

Data controllers need to coordinate with the supervising authority for the completion of their key tasks. Perform audits of security controls and data processing activities on a regular basis in your company. Keep a record of personal data processing update for proof of consent.

  • See What OthersAre Doing: GDPR doesn’t have any defined rules, hence the market should need to come up with its own approaches to ensure data compliance without sacrificing user experience. A lot of companies keep on introducingnew features, therefore keep checking competitors’ websites for modifications and best practices in your niche.
  • Report Data Breaches:For both internal and external data breaches, you must have appropriate procedures in place to find, report and assess such incidents. In general, you should report any data breaches to the Supervising Authority in 72 hours, as long as the personal data was not encrypted or anonymised.
  • Continue Working on Operational Procedures, Policies & Processes: As stated earlier, privacy is not a one-off project. It is an ongoing process to ensure that the data you collect is safe and used for legitimate purposes. You should also assess your procedures to make sure that they include all the rights people have, including how you transmit data electronically or delete personal data.

Adjust the Website

Adjusting forms and getting consent for cookies help resolve around 80% of the problems. Having said that, this is by no means a legal advice.

  • Opt-In Forms: This is one of the most common ways businesses collect information. Therefore, you may require adjusting all the forms you use. There is no definitive way of doing it, but you may followthe recommendations of your email service provider.
  • Cookie Consent:In simple language, inform your website visitors about the purpose of your trackers and cookies prior to setting anything except the necessary ones.

Organisations implement this in different ways, and any GDPR reference to these cookies doesn’t clear anything quite well. While functional cookies are used for a specific session, you would need consent to set a particular cookie to track a user.

Other GDPR Compliance Problems to Address

Below are other facets of GDPR that are equally important:

  • Data Transfer & Disclosure: Keep an eye on personal data transfer. Make sure that your data processors takes your approval whenever they send data outside of the EU/EEA. The same rules are applicable when the data processors want to subcontract part of the services they offer.
  • Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs):The GDPR introduces mandatory DPIAs for businessesthat are involved in high-risk data processing, such as deployment of new technologies, tracking of a publicly accessible area, a profiling process that may impact people substantially, etc.
  • Legitimate Interests Assessments (LIAs):These are just best practices, majorly created by privacy experts that refers to all the situations wherein data controllers seek to rely on legitimate interests. An “interest” can be deemed “legitimate” as long as the data controller can pursue this interest in a manner that conforms to data protection and the related laws.
  • Data Protection Officers:The GDPR needs some entities to appoint a data protection officer (DPO). Organisations that require DPOs include public organisations, organisations that process “sensitive” information on a huge scale, and organisations whose activities include the large-scale systematic and regular tracking of data subjects.
  • Children’s Data Processing:If your company collects data from underage data subjects, you must ensure that you have appropriate systems in place to check their ages and collect consent from their guardians. GDPR has several specific provisions for individuals under the age of 16 years.

Audit and Monitor

Businesses should recognise that being transparent about how they use and protect data is governed by law. Each company (including public sector organisations and non-profit entities) must describe a purpose for which they gather particular data.

You should only gather personal information that is just required to offer the product and/or service. Moreover, the data should never be shared for any unrelated reasons.

Another important aspect is to protect the data from hacking while keeping it updatedand accurate. Besides, the data should be deleted after a specific period of time.

When it is about protecting users, GDPR has a lot of room for improvement. For this reason, the proposed ePrivacy Regulation is likely to bring more transparency, especially with respect to Big Data. This is also one great reason to audit and track your data regularly.

Final Words

There are several different levels of compliance, and you should decide on the one that suits you most on the basis of factors mentioned above. Nevertheless, this is a starting point to help you move in the right direction to achieve GDPR compliance. Remember that businesses need to stay competitive in the marketplace, hence there will obviously be some trade-offs.

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