In 2018, the General Data Protection Act (GDPR) was passed requiring all businesses to adopt GDPR best practices to prevent non-compliance. A company that fails to comply with GDPR can face severe penalties, including fines or sanctions that some businesses could not afford. In addition to preventing a charge for non-compliance, companies that implement GDPR best practices have the benefit of maintaining a positive reputation for how it handles its customer’s personal data. Given the rise in identity theft over the past decade, protecting personal data is critical. Let’s review GDPR compliance best practices.
Meeting Consent Requirements
It is no long sufficient to consider inaction or use a simple tick box that’s pre-checked as consent for using someone’s personal data. Instead, you must have the informed consent of data subjects where they explicitly authorize the use of their personal information. Essentially, they must provide consent through an affirmative action.
Actively Managing Data
Data collected should not be maintained unless you have clear knowledge concerning how the information was acquired, where it’s housed, whether it should actually be retained, and who has the responsibility of managing it. Your business must have clear policies and processes that answer all of these questions. In the event that there was originally a purpose for data collected, and that purpose no longer exists, you’ll need to delete that data.
If the purpose for which you house data has changed, it’s possible that you will have a valid reason for processing or storing the information. That reason should be clarified and documented. A general rule of thumb is the less data you have, the less chances you have of GDPR non-compliance or a data breach.
Implementing Reporting Processes
In addition to complying with GDPR requirements, you must demonstrate that you are in compliance. This means you’ll have to document the steps taken to comply with the law, including all policies, processes and procedures. Even if it looks like you’re following the law, you must still have documentation, confirming how you comply, that’s sent to the Data Protection Authority (DPA). Companies that don’t send this information to the DPA can be fined.
Having a Data Protection Officer
If your business has more than 250 employees and processes personal data, you are required to have a Data Protection Officer (DPO). Generally speaking, this individual should have the proper training necessary to ensure compliance. If you don’t have someone that can serve in this role, you can hire a third-party DPO.
Training All Employees
The best way to ensure GDPR compliance is to make sure all employees are aware of the requirements and associated internal practices. This can be achieved through training conducted by the DPO. You can also have a third-party DPO provide training.