The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is curated with the objective of harmonizing data privacy laws across Europe. In effect, the EU GDPR aims at empowering all citizens of the EU to revisit and revise the way in which regional organizations look at data privacy.
GDPR may apply to…
The GDPR applies to all organizations located inside the European Union (EU) as well as to organizations located outside of the EU but in possession of the personal data of citizens in the EU.
Let’s understand it like this. Say an organization is located in the USA and it has business/business aspirations in the EU. Toward that end, if it collects business/personal data from EU citizens, it would be subject to the same GDPR regulations as an organization that is located, say in Germany. Whether or not the US organization has infrastructure and assets inside the EU, they will be subject to the same regulations as long as they have data of EU citizens.
What constitutes personal data?
The meaning of “personal data” under GDPR travels far beyond expectation if you consider how terms with similar implications are defined in the USA, especially under the GDPR. “Personal data” may mean information relating to a natural person who is either identified or identifiable.
This may include:
- Personal Identifiable Information
- Online Identifier Like Cookie, IP Address
- Location Data
- ID Number
- Biometric Data
- Ethnic Data
- Sexual Orientation
Consequences of Non-Compliance
Organizations that do not comply with GDPR ca be fined significantly. For severe and significant breaches, the fine can go up to €20 million or 4% (whichever is greater). The lower grade of infringements can invite fines up to €10 million or 2% (whichever is greater). For example, such fines can be applied to organizations that fail to report breaches to supervise authorities within three days, as regulated in article 33 of the GDPR.
Preparation for GDPR
Preparation for GDPR starts with understanding the types of personal data and which among these types are gathered and used by organizations. According to Gartner, there should be prioritization of five specific actions leading up to the preparation of impending requirements. The first step is to nominate two resources for roles exclusively centered on data protection.
Among the two designated individuals, the first person will act as a contact point for data subjects and the Data Protection Authority (DPA). The second individual should be the Data Protection Officer (DPO) who ensures all processing operations are compliant with GDPR.
The rest of the recommendations are meant to demonstrate transparency of accountability of all processing activities. There should also be checks to find out how data flows across borders within and outside the EU. Data subjects should be able to exercise their extended rights. These rights should include the right to be treated anonymously and the right to information on data breaches.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
As far as data protection and data privacy is concerned, GDPR has a set of very contemporary requirements. The compliance processes designed to meet the high standards of the GDPR will serve organizations in several ways. You will already have a robust compliance system installed in your organization. Such compliance shall also be future-proof because sooner or later, the laws around the world will catch up with the European Union. The investors, customers, and partners will know that your organization is serious about protecting its operations and business partners.
Often mistakenly looked upon as a hindrance, GDPR compliance is, in fact, a great opportunity for organizations. They may create a culture that is faster and more responsive to change. Plus, such an organization will, by default, be regarded as a company with high morale and enhanced productivity. Besides proving to be helpful to companies, GDPR compliant organizations will also prove to be more committed to data protection and the greater good.