General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs how EU organizations collect and use personal data. The GDPR applies to EU companies and those handling EU residents’ data.
GDPR compliance can be difficult. Users have data privacy rights and data processing principles under the law. GDPR requires companies to uphold these rights and principles, but it gives them some leeway.
For noncompliance, the GDPR imposes severe penalties. The worst violations can result in fines of EUR 20,000,000 or 4% of the company’s global turnover from the previous year. Additionally, General Data Protection Regulation regulators can stop illegal data processing and force organizations to change.
The following checklist covers General Data Protection Regulation essentials. How a company complies with these regulations depends on its data collection and use.
European Economic Area organizations must comply with GDPR. All 27 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are EEA members.
A non-EEA organization is subject to GDPR if:
- EEA residents receive goods and services from the company without payment.
- With cookies, the company tracks EEA residents’ activity.
- Data is processed for an EEA company.
The GDPR cover more than commercial use of customer data. Just about any organization that handles EEA residents’ data is affected. GDPR covers schools, hospitals, and government agencies.
Only national security or law enforcement activities and personal data processing are exempt from General Data Protection Regulation.
Effective GDPR definitions
GDPR terminology is specific. Understanding these terms in this context helps organizations understand compliance requirements.
According to the General Data Protection Regulation, personal data is any information about an identifiable person. Email addresses and political views are personal data.
The data owner is the data subject. Data refers to a person. Imagine a company collecting phone numbers for SMS marketing. Individuals with those phone numbers are data subjects.
Data subjects in the GDPR are EEA residents. General Data Protection Regulationdata privacy rights are not limited to EU citizens. They need only EEA residency.
The person, group, or organization that collects and uses personal data is a data controller. For example, a marketing company collecting phone numbers is a controller.
Processing data includes collecting, storing, and analyzing it. Organizations or actors that perform such actions are data processors.
A company that collects phone numbers and sends marketing messages is a controller and processor. One example of a processor is a cloud storage service that hosts a phone number database for another business.
Supervision authorities enforce General Data Protection Regulation. All EEA countries have supervisory authorities.
Is a GDPR audit required?
Audits are not required, but they are strongly advised in order to:
- Find and proactively close compliance gaps.
- Give regulators and data subjects your best effort.
- Reduce the possibility of penalties and reputational harm.
Which kinds of audits exist?
Various kinds consist of:
- Either your own employees or outside consultants can conduct internal audits.
- Third-party audits are unbiased assessments carried out by qualified auditors.
- Assessments of the data protection impact (DPIAs) are necessary for processing operations with a high level of risk.
Ways to prepare for the audit?
- Keep a record of your training materials and procedures for notifying data breaches.
- Assure users have access to pertinent IT systems and records.
Audit Procedure and Scope:
How will the auditors evaluate it?
Usually, they’ll concentrate on:
- Locating, managing, and identifying personal data: Data mapping and inventory.
- Justification for processing legally: Whether processing data is justified in your case.
- Individual rights: How you respond to requests from data subjects and guarantee their control.
- Applying suitable organizational and technical safeguards is data security.
- Governance and processes include incident response plans, training, and data protection laws.
Which steps are part of the auditing process?
- Scoping and planning: Defining the focus areas and objectives of the audit.
- Information gathering Includes conducting interviews and going over records and policies.
- Analyzing and testing: Finding weaknesses and assessing controls.
- Reporting and suggestions: Putting together a report that includes conclusions and remedial measures.
Following an GDPR audit:
How should I respond to the audit results?
Create and carry out an action plan to close any gaps and shortcomings found.
Do I have to tell anyone about the results?
Serious non-compliance may need to be reported to regulators if the audit finds it.
How often should my GDPR audits be carried out?
To guarantee continued compliance, it is advised to conduct audits on a regular basis, preferably every 12 to 24 months.
Include important parties: Ensure that the audit process involves the participation of pertinent departments and personnel.
Continue to communicate clearly: Make sure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and the audit’s goals.
Make the most of the audit as a teaching tool: Consider the audit as an opportunity to enhance your data security procedures.