The advancement of technology created a platform for businesses and services to operate digitally and for information to be stored in the cloud. These digital operations have required that customers provide personal information to companies through their web pages, digital business accounts, etc. Over time, data released to the cloud were not adequately protected, making them vulnerable to data breaches, hence the need to establish data protection policies.
The European Union founded the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25, 2018, to protect the personal data of all the people in the European Union. The regulation is designed to apply to all businesses, from big to small and medium enterprises.
The personal data to be protected are any information relating directly or indirectly to an individual, such as location, biometric data, gender, ethnicity, name, email address, web cookies, etc. The policy regulates every action performed on the data, such as collation, organizing, storing, usage, and disposal of the data. Securing these personal data increases a company's efficiency and boosts customers' trust in such a company.
Maintaining compliance with the rules and regulations of Data Protection Policies is essential, as non-compliance attracts costly consequences.
Here are some penalties attached to violating the compliance law, as well as steps to maintain compliance with the General Data Protection regulations and other Data Protection policies.
Penalties for GDPR Non-Compliance
Non-compliance with the laws of Data Protection Regulations can be a costly mistake as strict penalties are attached for breach of the policies. Companies that violate the rules can be fined up to 10 million Euros (10.5 million US Dollars) or 2% of their global revenue for less severe violations and 20 million Euros (21 million US Dollars) or 4% of revenue for extreme regulation violations.
In addition to GDPR, which covers any companies and websites collecting the personal data of residents of the European Union, there are many other compliance rules in place. Those in the healthcare sector need to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). California companies must follow the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), and there are many other similar guidelines in localities and industries.
The following steps will help businesses assess and maintain data privacy compliance and improve their data handling security.
Every company should have a structured channel of data flow, and understand the type of data they process, how they receive data, the purpose of data received, the data usage, the transmission channels, and the retaining and disposal of data. This will help the industry to plan data security and protection within the business.
Customers who have supplied you with information have certain privacy rights regarding the data they have provided. These data subject privacy rights include:
You should abide by and be responsive to the request made by the subjects in line with these rights.
Auditing data flow enables you to identify the information in your company and how it moves from suppliers to retailers to customers. Regularly conducting a data flow audit as part of your initial compliance project helps you account for unintended or unforeseen uses of data.
Companies that handle and process a large amount of sensitive and personal data must hire or appoint a data protection officer. The primary role of this officer is to ensure your company process the data of your employees and customers in compliance with applicable data protection rules. The officer will also act as a touchpoint between your business and any supervising authorities.
According to the GDPR, every employee must be enrolled in security staff awareness courses. This course covers everything your employees need to know about security and compliance maintenance and allows them to practice good working etiquette.
Ensure that only essential data needed are collected because storing sensitive data without reason can alert the Compliance supervisory authority. Evaluate all data requirements through a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) and a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA).
Always be ready to prevent any form of breach of data security. However, in a case where there is a successful breach, respond and report such a breach immediately. The report should get to the EU Data Protection Supervisory Authority within 72 hours of the violation. It would help if you also informed the customers whose data have been breached so they can take immediate necessary actions.
GDPR has become a governing policy for many organizations using personal data. Maintaining compliance with the policy and putting together adequate data security measures will make your firm efficient and win consumers' trust.
At Vudu Consulting, our available professional services will help you successfully walk through the steps and ensure your company's compliance and maintenance of compliance for pertinent data privacy regulations.
Contact us today to get started.