The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which was brought into effect on April 14, 2016, and adopted as legislation by the European Parliament on May 25, 2018, is the updated and unified code of data privacy rules of the European Union (EU).
The EU Data Protection Directive from 1995 was replaced by the GDPR, which places emphasis on preserving corporate openness and enhancing the privacy rights of data subjects. Under the GDPR compliance framework, businesses are required to notify the supervisory authority and all affected parties of serious data breaches within 72 hours of becoming aware of them.
Regardless of whether or not the company collecting the data is headquartered in the EU, the provisions of the GDPR apply to any data created by EU individuals. The provisions hold true for all people, regardless of whether they are legal EU nationals, whose data is held in the EU.
The GDPR also specifies the legal bases for collecting personal data; no other use of the data shall be allowed after it has been collected for a specific, legal cause.
If you find yourself having to satisfy the GDPR compliance standards and obtain certification or recertification , you are likely to be dealing with numerous questions and consequently feeling exasperated. Because of this, we at Akitra decided to compile a series that answers the most frequently asked GDPR issues. Our intention is to provide you with accurate and helpful information so you may better understand this intricate compliance structure.
If you want to take a glance at the first part of this guide, you can do so by clicking right here <insert link to the first blog on the topic>.
What is GDPR Compliance?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a vast compliance framework that broadly requires a company to do the following:
- “Personal” data of EU citizens must be protected and only used for authorized purposes;
- Access to the data has been restricted and secured;
- Contracts with third parties must contain specific requirements for the processing of data by third parties;
- EU individuals have a variety of rights regarding their personal data, including the right to know what data a company may hold on them and the right to request a processing restriction on that data;and
- Follow certain reporting guidelines when reporting data security incidents.
The GDPR guidelines were developed with three key objectives in mind:
- Establishing a set of minimum requirements for cloud-based businesses handling personal data of EU citizens;
- Replacing the 1995 Data Protection Directive and the 28 various privacy laws now in force in EU member states with a single privacy legislation; and
- Revising privacy regulations to reflect current practices in the collection and transmission of personal data.
Discover more about the GDPR’s operation, who needs to comply with it, its advantages, violations, etc., by reading one of our earlier posts right here.
5 Most Frequently-Asked Questions About GDPR Compliance
What rights must companies enable under GDPR?
The GDPR grants “data subject rights” to EU citizens, which gives them control over their personal data. This includes the right to:
- Learn more about the handling of personal data;
- Access a company’s collection of personal information;
- Have inaccurate personal information updated or erased;
- Request the correction and deletion of personal data in specific situations (sometimes referred to as the “right to be forgotten”);
- Restrict automated processing of personal data or object to it; and
- Get a copy of the personal information.
Am I allowed to transfer “personal” data outside the EU?
Yes, although transfers of “personal” data belonging to EU citizens to countries outside the European Economic Area are rigorously governed by the GDPR. To make these transfers possible, you might need to establish a particular legal framework, such as a contract, or abide by a certification framework. Companies usually define these legal necessities in the terms of their contracts for online services.
How do I know if the data being processed by my company is covered by the GDPR?
The GDPR governs how “personal data” is gathered, maintained, used, and shared. Under the GDPR, “personal data” is defined extremely broadly as “any information relating to an identified or geographically identifiable natural person.”
Online identifiers (such as IP addresses), employment information, sales databases, customer services data, customer feedback forms, location data, biometric data, CCTV footage, loyalty program records, health, and financial information, and many more are examples of personal data that can be collected. Even material that does not seem to be personal, such as a picture of a landscape devoid of people, can be included if it is connected to a specific person by a code or account number. And even pseudonymized personal information may qualify as personal information if it can be connected to a specific person.
Processing some “special” categories of personal data, such as information about a person’s health or sexual orientation or that exposes their racial or ethnic origin, is subject to stricter regulations than processing “ordinary” personal data.
Since this analysis of personal data is very fact-specific, we advise consulting an expert to assess your unique situation.
Does the GDPR apply to processors and controllers?
Yes, both controllers and processors must comply with the GDPR. Only compliant processors that take steps to comply with the GDPR standards may be used by controllers.
Compared to the Data Protection Directive, the GDPR imposes more obligations on processors and increases their culpability for noncompliance or acting contrary to the controller’s instructions. Their responsibilities include, but are not restricted to:
- Only processing data in accordance with controller instructions;
- Implementing the necessary organizational and technical safeguards to secure personal data;
- Assisting the controller with requests from data subjects; and
- Ensuring that the sub processors it uses adhere to these specifications.
Does my business need to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO)?
The need for a DPO depends on a number of variables. Per Article 37 of the GDPR, controllers and processors are required to appoint a data protection officer in the following circumstances: (a) the processing is carried out by a public authority or body, with the exception of courts acting in their official capacities; and (b) the processing operations make up the controller’s or processor’s core business functions and, as a result of their nature, scope, or purposes, call for routine and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale; or (c) processing on a large scale of special categories of data in accordance with Article 9 and personal data pertaining to criminal convictions and offenses mentioned in Article 10 constitutes the controller’s or processor’s primary business activity.
GDPR Compliance with Akitra!
Establishing trust is a crucial competitive differentiator when courting new SaaS businesses in today’s era of data breaches and compromised privacy. Customers and partners want assurances that the organizations with whom they do business are doing everything possible to prevent disclosing sensitive data and putting them at risk. Compliance certification fills that need.
Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation platform for SaaS companies. Using automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls as a compliance foundation, our service helps customers become certified for GDPR, along with other frameworks like SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, HIPAA and NIST 800-53. Our compliance and security experts will also provide you with the customized guidance you need to confidently navigate the end-to-end compliance process.
The benefits of our solution include enormous savings in time, human resources, and money — including discounted audit fees with our audit firm partners.
Build customer trust. Choose Akitra TODAY!
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