April 21, 2018 0

Is your Company going to be GDPR Compliant?

Is your Company going to be GDPR Compliant?

Overview

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.

What is the GDPR?

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.

Read also – Difference between umbrella company and limited company?

How are you Preparing for the GDPR?

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.

Checkout Also:- What happens to Companies that fail GDPR Compliance?

Ensuring your Company is GDPR Compliant

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.

  • Map all business data:
    The first task at hand is mapping your business data. It is of paramount importance that all the customer related data being recorded in an enterprise’s business ecosystem is mapped effectively to monitor where it is coming from, where is it being used, where is it being stored, observe who is accessing the data and assess any risks. Deploy a data access control management system to ensure only the authorised personnel are able to access the confidential customer information. These proactive measures will assist in adhering to the GDPR compliance requirements.
  • Categorise data into levels of importance:
    Classify your data according to the levels of importance, and get rid of information that is no longer necessary. Cut the clutter if you want to triumph the GDPR wave. This will help set up a disciplined approach to handling customers’ personal data, which is the ultimate goal of the GDPR implementation.
  • Implement appropriate security measures:
    Have in place an effective security mechanism that spans the complete enterprise infrastructure, including data centres and storage. Implement suitable security practices to safeguard customers’ data from breaches and cyber-attacks, such as Trojans, Malware and viruses. You should also have an active response system in place to quickly remediate any data breach and immediately notify the security experts in case of an attack. If you are outsourcing data management processes to a third party, it is completely your responsibility to choose a vendor who abides to and follows all GDPR compliance requirements.
  • Review all your privacy statements and disclosures:
    Once the GDPR is implemented, it will become the onus of the providers to prove that their customers have consented to disclose their information. Therefore, pre-checked boxes and implied consent will lose value. Companies will have to thoroughly go through their privacy statements and disclosures, and make adjustments wherever deemed fit.
  • Set up processes for handling personal data:
    The GDPR assigns customers 8 basic rights: the right to access their data, the right to have their data deleted, the right to port their data from one provider to the other, the right to consent before data is collected, the right to have information corrected, the right to deny processing, the right to object and the right to be informed. Companies have to set up detailed processes for each of the aforementioned situations. This will help prepare them to tackle and manage any of these scenarios.

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. 

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