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An Overall vision of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

An Overall vision of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

General data protection regulation (GDPR) ensures that businesses protect the European Union (EU) citizens’ data for any transaction in the EU member states. The organizations doing business in Europe must adhere to this set of regulations. If organizations fail to comply with the regulations, they have to pay a considerable fine resulting in legal proceedings and reputational damage.

In this article, we are discussing what you need to know about the GDPR to stay compliant.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for general data protection regulation. It is a set of regulations adopted by the European Union parliament in 2016, that bounds the organization to protect the personal data and privacy of citizens of the European Union. GDPR regulates the transportation of personal data within and outside of the European union member countries. General data protection regulation (GDPR) ensures that organizations adhere to the regulation’s guidelines, keeping customers’ privacy as their topmost priority. If any organization fails to stay compliant with the GDPR, it has to pay a considerable fine. The organization also loses the reputational value and trust of the customers.

GDPR defines six core principles that lie at the heart of GDPR. Organizations are obliged to follow these principles while collecting, processing, and transmitting the customers’ data.

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency

The first principle of GDPR states that organizations should always adhere to the laws. Organizations must mention in their privacy policy what data they are collecting and for what purpose.

Purpose limitation data should be collected for specific purposes. Organizations need to mention the objectives behind collecting data and delete it once the target is achieved.

Data minimization 

Organizations need not collect unnecessary and irrelevant data. They are allowed to collect, process, or hold the minimum amount of data required to fulfill their purposes.

Accuracy

Organizations must take necessary steps to ensure that personal information is accurate and not misleading. Any misleading or incorrect information should be erased as soon as discovered.

Storage limitation

Organizations need not store personal data for a more extended period. Data should be reviewed frequently and erased if it is not required anymore.

Integrity and confidentiality

The integrity and confidentiality principle ensures that organizations take adequate measures to protect consumers’ data and privacy. This principle is also known as the security principle.

Why is GDPR important?

Europe was already aware of the importance of data privacy long before the emergence of the internet. Therefore it implemented the Data Protection Directive in the year 1995. GDPR was enforced on 25th May 2018 by replacing the outdated Data Protection Directive. Recent years have witnessed some high profile data breach incidents. GDPR came into existence due to rising privacy concerns. A majority of consumers used to fear the loss of their financial data and security information. The GDPR protects the rights of the European Union citizens and enables them to keep track of what data is an organization storing? For what purpose? And who can access their data?

Data Security and privacy protection play a vital role in the success of an organization. Information security deals with protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access. Therefore, organizations should employ security measures and controls to manage and mitigate the risks associated with data breaches and comply with requirements of GDPR. In case organizations fail to comply with the GDPR, organizations have to face heavy penalties that can reach up to 2% of an organization’s annual turnover. In the case of more severe violations, the penalties can cost 4% of an organization’s yearly revenue.

What type of personal data GDPR protects?

Any form of data that can be used to identify an individual or natural person is called personal data. Personal data protected by GDPR include:

  • The basic information about a natural person (such as his name, ID numbers, and residential address)
  • web data (IP address, location, cookie data, IoT related identifiers)
  • Genetic data and Health data (such as past and current medical history)
  • biometric data (fingerprints, facial recognition), racial or ethnic data, data related to political opinions, or Sexual orientation

Does the GDPR affect the organizations working outside the EU?

The GDPR protects the privacy and personal data of the citizens of the EU. Any organization handling EU citizens’ data, irrespective of whether it is located within EU member states or outside, has to abide by GDRP regulations. GDRP applies to the companies located in the EU, even if their data is being stored or processed outside of the EU.

The GDPR applies to the organizations outside of the EU in the following situations:

  1. The internet has facilitated the organizations to deliver their services to distant places, all across the globe. In case the organization is located outside of the European Union but offers goods and services to the EU citizens, then the organization is subjected to the GDPR.
  2. If an organization monitor the online behavior of Eu citizens, for example, if it uses tools to track cookies and IP address of the user who visited its website, then the organization falls under the scope of GDPR.

The impact of GDPR on businesses?

The GDPR has assigned more power to the consumers. It has changed many things for organizations affecting third-party vendors, marketing activities, and the sales team’s functions. GDPR has a beneficial impact on risk management, governance, data security, and system security.

The EU’s regulation has influenced the businesses in the following ways:

  • The enforcement of GDPR has impacted on the data privacy and security standards. It has motivated organizations to improve and establish the best security measures to mitigate the risks of potential data breaches.
  • GDPR as resulted in the standardization of the data protection. Once an organization is compliant with GDPR, it can carry out its operation in any EU member state. The organization does not need to deal with data protection legislation for each state separately.
  • A data breach incident can cause an organization huge reputational damage and loss of trust of customers. Organizations are committed to secure customers’ privacy to stay compliant with GDPR, which further helps the organizations earn customers’ trust and maintain a better customer relationship.

According to a survey conducted by the Department for Digital Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) in the UK, GDPR has a major influence on Financial services, Arts and entertainment, retail business, Education sector, Health sector, public administration, and defense sector.

Who is responsible for GDPR compliance?

The GDPR has set out certain roles within an organization that is responsible for ensuring compliance. These roles are as follows: 

  • Data controller
  • Data processor
  • Data protection officer (DPO)

Data protection officer: The data controller’s role is to define how personal data is processed and its processing purposes. The controller also makes sure that outside contractors comply with the regulation.

Data processor: The data processor may be an internal entity of the organization that maintains and processes personal data records, or it may be an outside group hired by the organization to process the personal data records.

Data protection officer (DPO): Data protection officer (DPO) is designated post in an organization responsible for making a data protection strategy and monitoring the GDPR compliance. Data protection officer is much-needed to those organizations who handle a large amount of personal data of the EU citizens or regularly monitor data subjects.

Final words 

Enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has put the consumers at the driver’s seat. Organizations have to inform consumers about their rights. The GDPR has encouraged organizations to change their existing policies and protocols and strengthen their data security measures to prevent any possible data breach incident. It has also inspired other countries and regions worldwide to introduce or make adequate reforms in their data protection laws.

Train with Infosec Train

Infosec train is offering PECB certified GDPR foundation training course that allows participants to comprehend the data privacy laws and get familiar with the role of a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The certified GDPR training program aims at providing the necessary skillset to the candidates to enforce the data protection framework decisively, facilitate data access & storage, and mitigate the data breach incidents.

AUTHOR
Shubham Bhatt ( )
Infosec Train
Shubham Bhatt holds a bachelor's degree in computer science & engineering. He is passionate about information security and has been writing on it for the past three years. Currently, he is working as a Content Writer & Editor at Infosec Train.
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