Cyber Security

Answers to Common Questions about GDPR

Even more than half a year after its implementation, there is a great deal of confusion surrounding the GDPR. From the basics of the regulation to how it impacts various people, there is much to learn about GDPR. With the common questions answered, you can decide what aspects of GDPR you want more information on.

What Other Policies Like GDPR Existed?

The GDPR did not come out of nowhere; there were early forms of similar data privacy laws. One of the most notable early systems was the EU convention for human rights during the 1950s. This included the right to respect for everyone’s private and family life. During the early ʼ80s, the European council added conventions for individual protection. These conventions regarded automatic processing for personal data. This had become necessary due to early computers. In 1984, the UK introduced the Data Protection Act.

The massive rise in computers and technology led to the Data Protection Initiative in 1995. This protection brought more rigorous minimum standards for data protection. Before the GDPR, this was the most recent EU regulation, although various countries had their own policies.

How Is GDPR Different from Predecessors?

There are several key differences between the GDPR and its predecessors. These include the depth of privacy outlined. Additionally, GDPR is a regulation, meaning it is required. By contrast, the earlier policies were directives, meaning strong suggestions.

Who Must Comply with the GDPR?

Anyone who collects data from those within the European Union must comply with the GDPR. Additionally, the GDPR protects EU citizens regardless of where their data is. This means that as long as a company has an EU citizen in their database, they must comply with GDPR. Businesses of any size must follow the regulations if they meet that requirement. As such, GDPR impacts businesses from around the world, not just those within the EU.

How Does GDPR Protect Consumers?

The main goal of the GDPR is to protect consumers, which it does by giving them control over their data. The regulation helps protect consumers via its wide reach since consumers around the world will reap the benefits.

Consumers will have a better understanding of data collection policies of companies with GDPR. This comes from the fact that the regulation requires accessible and easy-to-understand consent. Further, GDPR requires a simple method of reversing that consent so consumers can change their mind in the future.

With the GDPR, companies also face harsher penalties for failure to protect consumer information. Serious mismanagement like a breach can result in massive fines. These can be as much as either €20 million or 4 percent of the company’s global annual turnover, whichever is greater.

In addition to the penalties, the GDPR enforces mandatory notification of a breach. You should report any data breaches that will likely lead to spreading of your information within 72 hours of discovery.

The GDPR repeats crucial consumer rights, most notably the right to access your personal information and to know who uses it and how. There are even specific protections in place for children.

What Rights Does GDPR Give Individuals?

The GDPR includes eight fundamental rights for individuals. These include the rights:

  • To be informed
  • To rectify
  • Of access
  • To erasure
  • To restrict processing
  • Of objection
  • To data portability
  • Of automated decision making plus profiling

Overall, this means that individuals have the right to know the personal data companies collect about them. They also have the right to know how and why that data is used and by whom. Individuals can request access to that data as well as to delete the information or to restrict future access and data collection.

What Do Companies Need to Do to Comply with the GDPR?

To comply with the GDPR, companies must take care when handling customer data. They must also provide users with a range of methods for controlling, monitoring, checking, and even erasing their data. To be compliant, companies must make adjustments, such as explicitly asking clients for consent to collect data.

Companies must additionally follow specific practices regarding personal data according to GDPR. Personal data has to be processed in a way that is transparent, fair, and lawful. Companies can only collect it for an explicit reason that is legitimate. That data must remain accurate and up-to-date and be limited to relevant information. Companies can only hold personal data for as long as necessary and they must process it with a focus on security.

Additionally, most companies must appoint their own Data Protection Officer (DPO). Public authorities must appoint one. So must companies who monitor individuals on a large-scale and those who process of special data related to crimes. Other organizations can choose whether they want to appoint one.

How Does GDPR Affect Small Businesses?

Keep in mind that GDPR applies to all businesses. Larger companies are more likely to have the resources to make changes and remain compliant. Luckily, GDPR does acknowledge that large and small businesses are different. Organizations with fewer than 250 employees do not have to follow GDPR, but they still should. Even so, there are certain stipulations you must meet for that to be the case. Businesses of any size with data processing that can lead to risk must comply.

Small businesses of all sizes must still follow certain aspects of the GDPR. They must immediately report security breaches. Individuals still have the right to be forgotten by small businesses. It is simpler for small businesses to just fully comply with GDPR instead of risking missing a stipulation.

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