ARE YOU READY FOR THE GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR) IN YOUR BUSINESS? 13 Feb 2024

Data Protection Regulation

Businesses nowadays are very concerned about privacy as technology continues to permeate every aspect of their operations. For businesses, 2017 was a disastrous year for data security and privacy. Data privacy has been brought to the forefront for the upcoming year as a result of the widespread WannaCryransomware assault, hacking and data leaks from corporations ranging from Honda to the U.S. Air Force and even from academic universities.

The General Data Protection Regulations, or GDPR, are a game-changing European law that will take effect on May 25, 2018. It will take the place of the 1998 Data Protection Act, which many lawmakers deemed to be too lax and insecure for companies operating in the modern, global economy. GDPR may have European roots, but it may also have an impact on businesses that are both domestic and international.

How Does GDPR Affect You, and Why Should You Care?

The European Union’s general data protection policy, which has a considerable and far-reaching scope, will contribute to the emergence of a contemporary attitude toward data privacy and protection. It not only makes business laws stricter, but it also gives consumers more control over how much of their personal data businesses collect.

Some of the most important aspects of GDPR are as follows:

You are required to hire a Data Protection Officer (DPO) on-site if your company activity requires extensive systematic monitoring of user data or if you process “special category data” in substantial amounts. The GDPR will apply to all businesses (even those with fewer than 250 employees) that have access to the personal data of their customers. This officer will oversee that all of your data collection and processing is done under the rules and will also serve as the sole point of contact for all inquiries regarding data privacy and protection. Serious security breaches and attacks must be disclosed right away to the GDPR Regulator and within 72 hours at the most.

The choice of how firms use customer and individual data will now be theirs. In some circumstances, if they are no longer customers or have terminated relationships with the company, they can even request that their data be deleted.

Due to the severe penalties that can be imposed for not complying with the GDPR requirements (up to €20 million or 4% of a company’s annual revenue), strong enforcement is required.

If you are already in compliance with the majority of the requirements, you will have a head start in making sure you can take care of your other crucial regulations. However, this just isn’t the case with the majority of firms, especially small businesses. In a recent study by Dell and Dimension Research, it was discovered that more than 80% of the IT professionals in charge of data privacy know very little about GDPR. Even worse, when GDPR takes effect in a few months, 97% of businesses will not even have a plan in place!

Important Components of the EU General Data Protection Regulation

The GDPR applies to all types of personal data that are either directly or indirectly associated with a person and are kept in a range of different formats (online servers, offline sheets, etc.). It adopts a broad view of what constitutes personal identity information in the current world, mandating that businesses regard, for example, a user’s IP address as seriously as they do his social security number.

Which Businesses Are Affected by the GDPR?

Even if they are not situated in the EU, every single business that saves and processes the personal information of EU individuals is required to abide by the GDPR. Specific requirements for businesses that must abide by GDPR legislation include:

  • All businesses with a presence in an EU nation
  • Companies that aren’t based in the EU yet handle a lot of personal data belonging to people living there
  • Organizations with over 250 workers
  • Companies with fewer than 250 employees but who process a significant amount of personal data that influences EU residents’ freedom

According to a recent PwC survey, GDPR would have a direct impact on 68% of US-based businesses, and they plan to spend between $1 million and $10 million to comply with its regulations. Numerous US-based businesses will be required to alter how they handle personal customer data as a result of the European General Data Protection Regulation, and they should have safeguards in place to ensure that all personal data is deleted upon customer request.

Why is the General Data Protection Regulation Beneficial for Your Business?

Organizations will need to become more sensitive when handling the personal information of their consumers as a result of GDPR, although it may sound like a difficult effort. This is because implementing GDPR makes excellent financial sense in many ways. Among the business advantages of GDPR are:

  • Enhanced Customer Trust: By default, GDPR will encourage organizations to retain personal and confidential data more securely. You can win your customers’ trust by keeping a clear, transparent, and immediately available channel where customers may easily learn exactly what personal data about them is being used. This rise in public confidence can also benefit your PR and marketing efforts.
  • Better Business Competitiveness: While initial resource and financial allocation will be crucial for the implementation of GDPR requirements, they will also be very helpful in the long run. In the long run, you can anticipate improved legal and regulatory compliance, giving your company a competitive advantage over rivals. Since you operate transparently, more customers will decide to use your services.
  • Better Data Governance: You may make information easier to retrieve by regularly indexing and storing the personal data of your customers, as well as monitoring your information holdings regularly. Additionally, you’ll be able to more easily fix data inconsistencies as they arise and erase personal information if your clients ask you to.
  • Reduced Digital Footprint: With stronger data retention policies, your company can cut storage costs overall while streamlining current procedures to make sure that leaving a smaller digital footprint is much simpler.
  • Improved security of information: A lot of small firms do not place the importance on information security that they should. Therefore, GDPR offers your business the ability to create new policies and procedures to manage personal data, which will be very helpful as your business expands.

The GDPR Guide: A Useful Checklist of Activities to Complete Before May 2018

The GDPR’s emphasis on privacy by design is one of its most straightforward but crucial elements. By guiding you through a step-by-step procedure to get you started, our general data protection regulation guide will assist you in mastering the same.

All Current Data Mapped

Start by outlining the sources of every piece of personal information you own, along with the precise actions taken with it. Determine where it is kept, who has access to it, and what risks there are.

Next, determine whether you need customer permission to store this data. If so, ensure that the consent form the user fills out is detailed and accurate. If you don’t already have one, start right away! You don’t have to go ahead and make a consent form if client consent is not necessary.

Assess which data is essential and which is not.

Never store more information than is necessary, and if any extra information has been gathered, erase it. Let it go if you are gathering a lot of unprocessed data without doing much with it. The following inquiries are for yourself:

  • Can I delete this information rather than just archive it?
  • Why must I save this information?
  • What am I trying to accomplish by gathering all of this private data?
  • Is there a bigger financial benefit to encrypting this data than simply deleting it?

Set up security procedures

Start implementing security measures across your current infrastructure to stop data leaks. If you don’t currently have an IT team to help secure your data, hire one. To ensure that data theft can be minimized, find out where you are storing your data and whether there are various levels of redundancy.

Do your research on your suppliers.

Even if you outsource a lot of your work, you could not be subject to the GDPR’s exemption provisions. So verify with your vendors that the proper security is in place. Make sure all of your vendors and contractors are GDPR-compliant and capable of notifying you quickly in the event of a breach.

Examine your records thoroughly

Start by going over all of your privacy statements and disclaimers and updating them as necessary to make them GDPR-ready. Whenever possible, remove pre-checked boxes because people must expressly consent before you may collect their data.

Get ready for access to information requests.

Customers have the option to request the deletion of their personal information or to view it so they can make an educated choice under GDPR. Additionally, they are free to select whether to correct their data, and they can even object to the processing of certain data points. Make sure you have procedures in place to respond to these requests promptly because each of these requests is subject to a deadline under GDPR (one month).

Establishing procedures will ensure personal data is handled correctly.

You should set up the proper processes before GDPR takes effect to make sure you already adhere to all the standards specified by the law. Start by posing the appropriate inquiries, such as:

  • What’s the legal way to ask people for their permission?
  • How quickly can I request the deletion of client data, and what is the procedure?
  • How can I make sure the data is consistently removed from all of my systems?
  • What procedure would be most effective in response to a request for data transfer?
  • How will you authenticate users before providing them with access to personal data?
  • What will the strategy be for communicating in the event of a data breach?

Our GDPR-compliant partner across all verticals is Velan’s commitment.

The European Union has taken a significant step in protecting its citizens’ basic right to privacy by enacting the GDPR. As a company, it’s critical to not just be GDPR-ready but also to collaborate with service providers who have previously succeeded in adhering to the regulations.

At Velan, we’ve always respected the right to privacy of our clients and users and protected it out of a sense of duty. Beyond what is necessary for the overall operation of our services, we do not collect or process user or client information.

As a result, we can now proudly say that we are 100% GDPR compliant; for more information, see our privacy statement. We are only a phone call away if you want to learn more about our data privacy policies or how to become GDPR-compliant.

 

Jack Manu

Outsourcing Consultant

About the Author:

Jack Manu, an outsourcing consultant at Velan, has more than a decade of experience in assisting real estate companies and real estate agents to improve the operational efficiency. He has been helping real estate agents including many REMAX agents to focus on their core business by offering transaction & listing coordinator services, accounting service and social media marketing assistance.Jack can be reached at [email protected]

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