With the proliferation of the Internet, our generation has witnessed a significant shift in its lifestyle preferences. Online is the new trend, and it is here to stay. From sending emails and shopping to conducting bank transactions and filing IT returns, individuals across the globe are using the Internet for innumerable tasks, without a second thought. The Internet has drastically changed the way we communicate and manage our day-to-day tasks. Come to think of it, we hardly take the time to wonder what happens to our data and personal information. Do companies process our data securely? What happens if ever the data gets leaked? (You already know about the Facebook data scandal )Are there ample regulations in place to handle a similar situation? Well, it is high time we concern ourselves with these questions, and the implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is here to assist us with the GDPR Compliant.
The European Union (EU) GDPR is a data protection regulation that safeguards the privacy of all individuals within the EU. After almost four years of discussions and debates, the GDPR was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016, and it will be enforced from May 25, 2018. In the UK, the Data Protection Act of 1998 will be replaced by the GDPR. It aims to ensure the protection of EU citizens’ data from misuse and mistreatment. The regulation intends to give the power of control back to the citizens so that they are aware of how their data is being processed and used by companies. The GDPR will be applicable to all companies, big or small, that process the data of EU citizens. Even non-EU companies that process the information of EU-based citizens, will be subjected to the GDPR.
Tech giants, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, offer their services for free, provided users agree to disclose their details. With the GDPR, EU agencies intend to make enterprises more aware of the regulatory and legal environment, which mandates companies are to implement adequate IT security measures to protect customers’ data. Non-compliance with the GDPR can result in hefty penalties, with the maximum amounting to 4% of the global annual revenue or £20 million, whichever is higher.
The GDPR implementation will completely transform how businesses can store, collect, process, transfer and use customers’ data. A survey conducted by Dell revealed very few global organizations are actually aware of the GDPR and its non-compliance implications. 80% of the respondents knew a few details or almost nothing about GDPR, while 97% didn’t have a plan in place and no GDPR compliance checklist. Less than one in three respondents were sure they were ready for GDPR, whereas only 9% of IT and business professionals were confident about being GDPR ready. With the enforcement of the data protection law less than two months away, GDPR compliance should be the topmost priority for all enterprises.
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Many companies are of the view that GDPR is simply an IT policy that can be handled with a few tweaks and adjustments. This assumption is far from the actual truth. With GDPR, the power would lie with the customers, and companies will have to make systematic and planned changes to their overall processes, especially to their sales and marketing practices. We’ve made a GDPR compliance checklist that will help your business ensure you are GDPR compliant.
Data is power, and how companies use this data, will make all the difference post GDPR implementation. Though it might seems intimidating, the GDPR is not introducing a new concept. “Customer first” has always been the mantra for all businesses; GDPR only reinforces the idea, ensuring the same is actually carried out on the ground. Well, for companies, if there is nothing to hide, there shouldn’t be anything they’d have to worry about.