GDPR is the world’s most stringent privacy and security legislation. Even though it was developed and approved by the European Union (EU), it imposes responsibilities on companies everywhere that target or collects data about EU citizens. On May 25, 2018, the rule went into force. Those that breach the GDPR’s privacy and security requirements will face hefty fines, with penalties ranging in the tens of millions.
If you’ve arrived here after Googling “what is GDPR?” you’re probably searching for a crash course, then this page is for you. We hope that this guide will help explain What GDPR is and make it less intimidating for small and mid-size enterprises worried about being GDPR compliant.
What does GDPR stand for?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of legislation that protects personal information. It is a European Union (EU) regulation that took effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR regulates using, handling, and retaining personal data (information about an identifiable, living person). It covers all EU organisations and those who provide products or services to the EU or monitor EU people.
As a result, companies and organisations must comprehend what GDPR entails fully. It is the legal framework to safeguard the basics rights of individuals whose organisations keep personal and sensitive data. Data subjects will now have the right to request subject access to their personal information and the right to have their personal information destroyed by an organisation. These rules will have an impact on almost every aspect of business, from marketing to health care. As a result, being GDPR compliant is critical to avoid the crushing penalties imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Is GDPR Important?
GDPR is significant because it establishes a standard set of regulations for all EU organisations to follow, ensuring a level playing field for companies and making data transfers between EU nations faster and more transparent. It also gives EU individuals a greater choice over how their personal data is handled.
Before implementing the new GDPR laws, the European Commission discovered that just 15% of people believed they had complete control over the information they supplied online. With such a low level of trust among the general population, purchasing habits would inevitably be impacted. However, trade is anticipated to grow due to measures to re-establish trusts, such as adopting and effective implementation of GDPR.
Non-compliance may result in a data breach; therefore, thorough execution of data security rules and employee education is critical. In the case of a significant data breach, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may levy penalties of up to 4% of your annual revenue or 20 million, whichever is higher. In addition, to reduce the danger of data breaches, data protection training is required.
Who does it apply to?
GDPR requires ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’ of data to meet EU regulations. So let’s take a closer look at those words.
A data controller is a person or entity in charge of deciding how and why data is handled. This is typically your own company. A processer is a person who is in charge of actually processing the data.
An excellent example of this is using a third-party contractor to handle your payroll. Your firm informs the payroll company when payments are due, how much each employee should be paid, and who leaves or joins. The payroll firm manages the IT system and keeps track of your workers’ information. In this case, your company serves as the controller, while the payroll provider serves as the processor.
Even if controllers and processors are located outside the EU, GDPR applies if they handle data belonging to EU citizens.
As a controller, it’s your job to make sure the processor follows the regulations. Processors must maintain track of their processing operations in the meanwhile. There’s a compelling reason to do so, with GDPR penalties being much more severe than they were before.
GDPR Key Aspects
GDPR has taken the place of the 1995 Data Protection Directive, which set basic data protection standards throughout Europe. Before 2018, this cautious attitude to data security resulted in a slew of data breaches and scandals, enabling personal information of data subjects to be compromised. Now that the GDPR has been implemented, data subject basic rights will be better protected.
- Expansion of Jurisdiction: GDPR now applies to any organization that handles the personal data of EU residents. This implies that GDPR applies to both large and small businesses, both within and outside the EU.
- Consent: There is a strong emphasis on consent, which must be precise and unambiguous.
- Right to Access: A data subject has the right to seek access to their personal information, and an organization is required to oblige.
- Right to be Forgotten: A data subject has the right to request that a data controller delete their personal information.
- Data Protection Officer (DPO): Data controllers are now required to have a DPO in their team to guarantee compliance with data protection laws.
- Penalties: For a data breach, the ICO may now impose considerably harsher penalties, including fines of up to 20 million or 4% of an organization’s worldwide sales, whichever is higher.
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