General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was coined by the European Union to safeguard its citizens from personal data being mismanaged. The regulation replaced the previously existing Data Protection Directive. Although developed for the European Union countries, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t comply with it if your business isn’t among the member states.
Why is this? Companies tend to grow over time, yours being no exception, which, more often than not, means their respective customer bases also increase. You may get clients from EU member countries, requiring you to get GDPR compliant. Compliance course can help you to become expert.
Instead of waiting until you get such clients, become compliant right now for the benefit of your business. You should note as well that data breach doesn’t only occur on your website. It can also happen on your social media pages, such as Twitter and Instagram, where your team member might repost something from a private chat.
But, are you wondering how to be GDPR-compliant? Worry not! This article will give you the proper guidance.
1. Assess Your Current Operations
Make a list of all the data you collect from your workers and customers, and question their relevance in helping you run your business. Analyze the data’s storage system and how long you keep them even when your team isn’t utilizing them. Your legal team should help you in the assessment, and advise you on the practices you need to forego and those that need to comply with the GDPR.
2. Adopt Necessary Tools
There are various tools, such as GDPR Manager and Onspring, that you can adopt to help you become GDPR-compliant. These tools allow you to ensure data privacy and security as you carry out your day-to-day business activities.
Change your business’s website to use HTTPS if it doesn’t. HTTPS is a more secure platform for your business as it encrypts data exchanged between your customers and the server as they access your services and products.
3. Get Your Team On Board
Being the only team member that supports the need for data privacy for your clients won’t help the course. You can’t implement a policy on your own, even as the business owner. Your team needs to see the importance and value of data protection for the idea to see the light of day. Hold seminars or trainings in your office, and have data protection experts educate your team. With your team’s acceptance of the GDPR compliance measures, they’re able to implement them seamlessly, without the need for supervision.
4. Document Policies And Processing Activities
Once your business has embraced GDPR, formulate policies that ensure GDPR will be strictly adhered to by your workers. Ensure the set laws are well-documented and stored for accountability purposes. In case of a data breach, you might not be fined, or your fine will be to a bare minimum since it’ll be evident you put all policies in place and have been compliant.
Document all your business activities regarding data collection and reduce the number of personnel accessing this information. The less people who have access, the lower the risk of breach, and it eases the process of identifying the source of a breach in case of one.
5. Practice Transparency
Transparency is one of the cornerstones of the GDPR policy. It’d be best if you’re clear on how you use the information collected from your clients. Inform your customers of the same before they give out their data. The same way you expect your workers to be honest in all their activities, you should extend the same to your clients.
In case of a breach of privacy, you need to report the incident and document the event. A violation may occur in the event of lost files, cyberattack, and many others. The level of breach determines who you’re to report to—if minor, inform the client, and if major, inform the GDPR regulating body as well.
6. Develop New Products With Privacy In Mind
Since the GDPR policy is here to stay, you need to ensure that any new product or service is compliant. Compliance should be done in the design phase before producing and releasing it. This reduces the cost you’ll have to spend on ensuring GDPR compliance after the product launch.
7. Formulate A Data Processor Agreement
A Data Processor Agreement is signed by your business and the third party that utilizes or handles any data given by your company’s clients. The agreement aims at ensuring that the third party is well-informed of the GDPR compliance and what you, as the business owner, expect of them as they handle personal data. In case of a breach from their end, you’ll not be held accountable for non-compliance with the GDPR, and you can sue them.
Ensure that you get into a contract with a trustworthy data processor partner. Seek referrals from other business partners, or family and friends.
8. Always Get Consent
Seek consent from your clients as they access your products and services. You should ask for authorization under the terms and conditions agreement. Ensure the agreement is separated from any other approval needed and should be the last document. Clearly outline how the data they’ve input is going to be used. The terms and conditions agreement should also stipulate their rights as customers. Some of these rights are that they’re allowed to edit and delete data they’ve disclosed, and they can withdraw any permission they’ve granted to your business when the need arises.
As seen in the article, being GDPR-compliant doesn’t require much from you as a business. All you need to do is be a little bit sensitive on how you receive and handle your clients’ personal information without violating their rights.