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Is My Business GDPR Compliant Today? – UK Edition

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has meant organisations from largescale corporations to small-to-medium-sized businesses have had to reevaluate how they handle personal data. Businesses need to know they’re on the right side of the law by remaining GDPR compliant.

GDPR and the new data laws that are being adopted by most western countries now have some complex and thorough definitions as to what makes a business GDPR compliant and businesses need to understand if their business is acting under the law.

There are many aspects to being GDPR compliant. For example, most organisations will have to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) either internally or externally (as an outsourced DPO). They’re knowledgeable in data protection and GDPR and help organisations stay compliant as GDPR continues to evolve.

In this article, we’re going to cover what makes a business GDPR compliant. We’ll look at what GDPR is, the importance of staying GDPR compliant and how to do so.

What is GDPR?

GDPR refers to data protection regulations brought into law on 25 May 2018. It replaced the Data Protection Directive (DPD) and the UK Data Protection Act of 1998. They were first introduced by the EU with the UK soon following with amendments to its own GDPR as it left the bloc, which is based on EU GDPR.

These regulations put the individual first. Data and data protection was made a human right. GDPR changed the way we look at data as true extensions of ourselves—with our personal data and the information held in it as part of our individual identity.

GDPR relates to the protection of personal data and the rights of individuals over that data. The main goal of introducing GDPR was to secure and ease the flow of data, giving individuals rights and controls over it like they hadn’t had before.

Who does GDPR apply to?

GDPR applies to organizations that process the data of individuals. This includes collecting and storage. Technically, GDPR applies to personal data defined as any information related to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.

Many types of information are part of what constitutes personal data. Email addresses, names, home addresses internet browsing history are all forms of personal data to which GDPR applies. And any business or organization that deals with any of these types of data sets must be GDPR compliant.

What are GDPRs rules businesses need to follow?

According to GDPR Article 5, collecting data must be:

  • Processed lawfully, fairly and transparently.
  • Collected only for specified, explicit and lawful reasons.
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary.
  • Accurate and remain up-to-date.
  • Remain on record only for as long as it is needed and not any longer.
  • Protected in a manner that ensures its security and integrity.

What does it mean to be GDPR compliant?

We’ve compiled a list of the most crucial steps you can check off that will put your business on the right track to being GDPR compliant. These will help you better understand what it means to be aligned with the regulations.

1. Know all the data you’re collecting.

You must be able to track and record all the types of data you’re collecting. Names, emails, behavioural data, etc. must all be known, recorded and made available to individuals if they should request it.

2. Appoint a DPO.

GDPR states both controllers and processors need to appoint a DPO to oversee their data protection strategy. These individuals must understand data protection and GDPR deeply. Many organisations opt for externally outsourced DPOs as they’re experts in being able to deal with GDPR rules and regulations and advise them while not needing to be physically present.

GDPR states that organizations must appoint a DPO if any of the following conditions are met:

  • If data is processed by a public authority.
  • If data collected is systematically monitored.
  • If data collected is processed on a large scale.

3. Create a GDPR diary

A GDPR diary or data registry helps keep a comprehensive record of how organisations practice GDPR compliance. It’s important to keep a record not only of the date you’re collecting, storing and processing but of how you ensure you’re taking the necessary precautions and actions to remain GDPR compliant.

4. Evaluate requirements for data collection.

You should only collect data that you absolutely need to be GDPR compliant. If you’re collecting sensitive data without a compelling reason, you may be violating GDPR.

5. Report data breaches immediately.

Businesses must report data breaches immediately. According to Article 33, both controllers and processes need to report breaches within 72 hours of knowledge of the breach.

6. Remain transparent regarding data collection motives.

You must make your customers aware of all the data you’re collecting on them. You must give acknowledgment every time data is being collected. Keeping your customers aware through full transparency is paramount to proper GDPR compliance.

7. Verify the age of all users consenting to data processing.

GDPR permits only personal data processing of individuals aged 16 and over. To lawfully collect personal data from individuals younger than 16 is a direct violation of GDPR. You must make sure that you incorporate age verification on your website, for example, if there are a chance individuals under the age of 16 may be exposed to personal data collection.

8. Always include an opt-in and opt-out for all email list sign-ups.

You need to give potential subscribers to email lists an option to opt out at any time. Part of GDPR compliance is giving individuals the freedom to choose whether or not their personal data is collected.

9. Keep your privacy policy up-to-date.

You must make your privacy policy readily available on your website and it must always be up-to-date. And when an update is made, your customers should be notified by email. GDPR requires that privacy policies must be accurate and clearly outline all the data collected and how it’ll be used.

10. Asses all third-party risks.

GDPR expects organisations to be aware of all security risks and have remedies in place for each one of them. This is to protect customers in case of any wrongdoings. To meet these requirements, organisations should implement a security scoring and risk assessment solution.

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