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General Data Protection Regulation

GDPR provides comprehensive data protection rules for better privacy and protection of consumers’ personally identifiable information

General data protection regulation

Global regulatory authorities are concerned about how business entities use and share the personal information of their customers. GDPR addresses this issue by presenting a set of guidelines to protect the privacy and personal data of consumers.

What is the GDPR?

General Data Protection Regulation is a global data-centered law by the European Union that was implemented in 2018. The legal framework is applicable across all EU states and European Economic Areas (EEA), and grants residents specific rights that allow them to have better control over how their personal information is processed. Data disclosures under the GDPR are based on privacy fundamentals and basic human rights.

What is GDPR Compliance Checklist?

Service providers that process the personal data of consumers need a proper checklist to guarantee compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. Below are the main components of the GDPR compliance checklist:

1. Transparency and Lawful Basis

A detailed list of data processing activities must be maintained by organizations that have more than 250 employees and operate in data-sensitive industries. To stay GDPR-compliant, a “data protection impact assessment” is necessary for entities, regardless of the number of employees, to ensure transparency. GDPR defines the following requirements in the assessment program:

  • The purpose of processing
  • Who has access rights to the data in the organization
  • Information about third parties, how are they accessing information, and where they are located
  • What measures are taken for data protection

2. Accountability and Governance

GDPR requires data processing entities to appoint a data protection officer to ensure proper regulatory standards throughout the organization. In this regard, an agreement between all third parties is also necessary to protect the privacy concerns of consumers. In case the company is outside the EU but processes personal data of EU residents, it needs to designate an official within any of the member states to ensure effective GDPR compliance.

3. Data Security

Chapter 4 of GDPR lists technical measures required by data controllers to ensure data security at an organizational level. This means that a company can only collect the personal data that is required for processing. To remain compliant with the GDPR, data processors need to be aware of data protection while dealing with personally identifiable information of their customers. If a company uses an automated solution for processing, it should adhere to all necessary data protection principles outlined in Article 5 under the GDPR.

4. Privacy Rights

Article 15, also known as the “Right to see personal data” is an important pillar of GDPR compliance. It grants citizens and consumers the privilege to know what information about them is being used by a business or data controller. Right to know about how long the information will be kept in-record is also something that GDPR grants to individuals. By giving customers the privacy rights outlined under GDPR, companies can ensure GDPR compliance.

When is the GDPR Applicable?

GDPR applies to everything that it defines as “personal data”. Precisely, it is any form of data that corresponds to a particular data subject, as per the law. Article 4 under the GDPR defines personal data like information related to a ‘natural person’ who can be individually identified through their name, address information, or a personal identification number. Other parameters include the physical, genetic, social, cultural, mental, and physiological identity of the person. 

Moreover, GDPR is applicable in any of the two conditions:

  • The personal data is in electronic form and is processed by automated systems, either as a whole or partially.
  • The regulation is also mandatory when personal data is processed using manual filing systems or other forms of non-automated methods.

What are the Rights Under GDPR? 

  • The right to access personal data allows customers of a business to ask about what information regarding them is being processed and for what purpose
  • The GDPR grants consumers the right to erasure, which means that they can request the service provider to delete their data at anytime
  • The right to restriction of processing allows customers to limit the use of their data in case they believe the data was collected without them being informed or unlawfully 
  • GDPR’s right to rectification gives customers the privilege to make corrections to their inaccurate and incomplete data  
  • The right of probability enables users to transfer their personal data to/from any third-party source any time they want.
  • GDPR gives consumers the right to object through which they can ask a service provider or business to no longer use their data for personalized marketing purposes.

How Does GDPR Affect Businesses?

Simply put, any business entity or individual that needs the personal data of EU residents to provide services is required to meet GDPR obligations. The law is not only applicable to data collection but also directs businesses to maintain compliance while processing and sharing the personal data of EU citizens with other partner entities. While signing contracts with third parties, businesses should appoint data processors to ensure GDPR compliance through audits as defined in GDPR Article 28.

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