We live in an age which almost every individual’s most personal data is transmitted through an online database in one way or another. The amount of data online creates extra vulnerability for both corporations and individuals and makes them more susceptible to online data breaches and cases of identity theft.
In order to assist in the reduction of data breaches across the European Union, the GDPR was created and enforced in April 2016. The GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation takes control of personal data away from corporate entities and gives it back to the individual. Furthermore, in addition to regulating the transmission of data within the European Union, it also sets regulations on international data communication.
The laws that were introduced in 2016 were created to be slowly enforced and complied with over a two-year span of time. This grace-period allowed time for corporations to adjust procedures and address issues at a manageable pace. However, that grace period is coming to a close, and come May 2018 these regulations will become fully enforceable and do not require approval from legislation. Therefore, corporations need to be prepared with what GDPR updates mean for their business and how to appropriately handle them.
A large portion of correctly implementing GDPR is providing the correct data related documentation. Under these regulations, companies are required to document their employees’ consent to use their data, and document if there have been any breaches in security of data. Furthermore, the processing of employee or consumer data must be monitored and documentation of all data processing must be kept. Through being able to provide the correct documentation, corporations will also be more prepared to protect themselves should any allegations arise that they were not compliant with these regulations.
Along with new rules for documenting compliance, there are also new regulations for assessing the state of a company’s compliance policies and implementation. Under updated and enforced GDPR, a company’s compliance officers will be required to carry out Data Protection Impact Assessments or DPIAs. These assessments will help to determine where there are any faulty processes or follow-through that may allow for vulnerability and lead to a data breach.
Due to the fact that consumer rights are a large part of the GDPR, under the new regulations, consumers should have access to their own personal data and documentation. Corporations are allowed to provide this data in a variety of ways, but they have to be able to ensure that consumers can retrieve their data at any time and have a right to know what personal data is being transferred within and outside of the company.
Fines and Enforcement
Beginning in May, the regulations that have been established will be fully enforced by the law. Laws being enforced also means that corporations who do not comply with the regulations will be eligible for fines. The fines that companies will be subject to come May 2018 will be higher than those that have been enforced during the past two-year grace period. Specifically, corporations could be subject to fines up to four percent of their annual revenue.
Any company that conducts business within the European Union needs to be prepared for enforcing these regulations, even if that company is situated outside of the European Union itself. Because these regulations can be confusing and difficult to implement, corporations should start their preparation for fully enforcing them as soon as possible. In order to be most prepared, it is wise to discuss these regulations with leaders and employees alike to guarantee that everyone is educated on the topic. Furthermore, all parties involved with consumer or employee data should understand the consequences of their actions and the impact that they could have on the business should they choose not to comply.
Automating certain IT processes and having clear, written, and well-documented procedures will go a long way in creating a smooth transition to full compliance as well. Be sure to have an individual in charge of GDPR for every department and an individual or committee that oversees GDPR for the entire corporation. Being sure that your company is fully compliant starts on the ground floor. Every employee needs to be held accountable for their responsibilities in the regulations and be able to work with the rest of the corporation to ensure the safety of everyone’s personal information and the well-being of the company.
At Red Flag Reporting, from policies to people to Privacy Shield, we are prepared for GDPR. Protecting confidential information is paramount to what we do, and we do not sell or otherwise share the data we collect.