GDPR Compliance Information

Modified on Tue, 06 Dec 2022 at 11:25 AM

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is Europe’s recent data privacy and security law. Effective May 25, 2018, it is the toughest privacy and security law in the world. Drafted and passed by the EU, it obliges organizations anywhere in the world if they are targeting or collecting data related to people in the EU, whether or not the organization itself is based in the EU.

The purpose of this overview is to provide you with a general understanding of what GDPR is and how it may apply to your business organization.

Scope of the law: The GDPR applies to you even if you/your organization are not based in the EU. Whether you process the personal data of EU citizens or residents, or you offer goods or services to citizens or residents of EU, it applies.

Privacy Rights of the People: People, referred to as “data subjects” in the GDPR, are protected by privacy rights when using the Internet. The 8 rights include:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erasure
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling.

Key definitions: While the GDPR defines several legal terms, below are some of the most important ones for quick reference.

  • Personal data — Personal data is any information that relates to an individual who can be directly or indirectly identified. Names and email addresses are obviously personal data. Location information, ethnicity, gender, biometric data, religious beliefs, web cookies, and political opinions can also be personal data.
  • Data processing — Any action performed on data, whether automated or manual. The examples cited in the text include collecting, recording, organizing, structuring, storing, using, erasing… so basically anything.
  • Data subject — The person whose data is processed. These are your customers or site visitors.
  • Data controller — The person who decides why and how personal data will be processed. If you’re an owner or employee in your organization who handles data, this is you.
  • Data processor — A third party that processes personal data on behalf of a data controller. The GDPR has special rules for these individuals and organizations. They could include cloud servers like Tresorit or email service providers like ProtonMail.

NOTE: Definitions taken directly from https://gdpr.eu/

Data Protection Principles: If you/your business process data, you must follow the seven protection and accountability principles described below (and outlined in Article 5.1-2 of the full law).

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency — Processing must be lawful, fair, and transparent to the data subject.
  2. Purpose limitation — You must process data for the legitimate purposes specified explicitly to the data subject when you collected it.
  3. Data minimization — You should collect and process only as much data as absolutely necessary for the purposes specified.
  4. Accuracy — You must keep personal data accurate and up to date.
  5. Storage limitation — You may only store personally identifying data for as long as necessary for the specified purpose.
  6. Integrity and confidentiality — Processing must be done in such a way as to ensure appropriate security, integrity, and confidentiality (e.g., by using encryption).
  7. Accountability — The data controller is responsible for being able to demonstrate GDPR compliance with all of these principles.

NOTE: Definitions taken directly from https://gdpr.eu/

Conclusion: GDPR compliance is important to take seriously. By understanding the privacy rights of the people and the data protection principles, you can ensure you are doing your part to keep your business compliant. The Key Definitions can help you have an overall understanding of the various aspects and roles of who/what is covered under the GDPR.

Please note the full GDPR is over 80 pages in length. This brief overview provides a summary of key points for consideration when managing data collection for your business. The purpose of this article is to provide general information and an overview. It is in no way an exhaustive list of all details or relevant facts. This article is NOT legal advice on how to implement appropriate GDPR compliance. We strongly encourage you to consult with your HR, business support/legal team, etc. to ensure you and your business is in compliance. For more information, please visit: https://gdpr.eu/

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