Everything You Need to Know About GDPR: What Data is Protected?
Before 2018, the laws surrounding data protection were ambiguous at best, but the General Data Protection Regulation is a new law that protects the rights of individuals worldwide.
It brings peace and clarity to companies who handle personal data and people themselves about what information can be shared with others without their consent or knowledge (or at least concisely).
This post will discuss some key points you need to know about GDPR legislation, including which data it protects.
Who Needs To Be Aware Of GDPR?
The GDPR was put into action by the European Council and Parliament, which means all countries in Europe must adhere to the basic rules but are allowed to make minor alterations to meet their individual needs.
It doesn’t matter where a company is based because the legislation applies to all residents in the EU. For example, a website in the USA will have to ensure it complies with the GDPR or residents within Europe won’t be able to access the site.
The rules impact everyone, but while they might seem inconvenient, their sole purpose is to protect every consumer’s privacy and personal data.
The Seven Principles of Protection
The seven principles of the GDPR will help you understand how it might impact your business. It’s essential to consider these principles as rules for handling data because they’re designed to keep controllers compliant and consumers safe.
Let’s take a look at each principle and how it protects people.
Lawfulness, Fairness & Transparency
The GDPR requires controllers to process personal data in a transparent, fair and lawful manner. This means that individuals must understand how controllers process their data and its purpose.
They must also be able to limit the sharing of their data and have control over what happens to it.
Personal data may only be used for the purpose(s) specified and must not be processed in any other way without the individual’s prior consent.
Consumers can exercise their rights under the GDPR, including the right to access their personal data and correct inaccurate data.
All businesses/controllers must minimise the amount of personal data they collect and retain. Only the minimum necessary for the purpose(s) for processing should be collected and retained.
Controllers shouldn’t store data unless it’s absolutely essential and has a purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled, controllers must delete any personal information to protect consumers.
This is highly beneficial for consumers because, in the event of cyber scams and security threats, their data should no longer be visible for people to steal.
All personal data must be accurate and updated, including sensitive personal data. This kind of data falls into its own special category and requires more protection – so there are special rules in place.
It’s a businesses responsibility to ensure that personal data is up to date and accurate when processing and storing it, so it’s essential to understand how to identify sensitive data.
Integrity and Confidentiality
The GDPR requires controllers to protect the personal data they process from unauthorised access, alteration, destruction or disclosure. This includes taking appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of the data.
It’s also essential to retain confidentiality on all levels and protect a person’s data from hackers or leaks.
Businesses must be accountable for the way they handle personal data. This includes implementing appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure compliance with the GDPR. Controllers must also appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to process sensitive personal data or large amounts of personal data.
Which Data Is Protected?
So, now you know a little bit more about the GDPR, it’s time to find out how it can protect your privacy. Most types of data are protected by the legislation, including:
General Information: This applies to a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation and so on.
Personal Data: Personal data is more sensitive, and it can include a person’s address and financial information.
All data controllers must adhere to the regulations to protect their customers. To put it simply, all businesses or organisations that collect and hold information must make people aware of how they use it and keep the information safe at all times.
For many businesses, understanding and actioning GDPR compliance can be challenging. It can be a good idea to use a GDPR optimised hosting service because a lot of the processing and protection procedures are automated, giving businesses more security and peace of mind that they won’t incur hefty fines for a potential breach.
However, there are some things data controllers can do to ensure compliance and maintain the reputability of a business.
Protecting your website from hackers is a great way to enhance security, and there are plenty of cost-effective solutions out there. It’s also important to use encryption to secure your data because it decreases the risk of breaches.
Maintain Access Rights
Everyone has the right to access their data and understand how a controller protects it. Due to this, it’s beneficial to have a process in place that enables people to access their data within one month of the request.
Train All Employees
Anyone who handles data should understand how to stay in line with the GDPR and the consequences. This applies to high-level management, all the way down to customer service representatives.
Training can help people understand the importance of remaining compliant, and larger organisations often employ a specialist to maintain data and privacy laws.
The Bottom Line
The GDPR’s ultimate purpose is to protect consumers and ensure businesses stay compliant. While it might seem like a headache to implement protection policies, it’s beneficial for companies because these rules reduce the risk of data breaches and increase trust levels from consumers.
If you’re struggling to understand the rules surrounding GDPR, automated hosting can make a big difference to your business. It streamlines the process, meaning you can focus on running your business while having peace of mind that you won’t incur any penalties for failure to comply.
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