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What Should be in a General Data Protection Regulation Policy?

What Should be in a General Data Protection Regulation Policy

What is the General Data Protection Regulation?

The General Data Protection Regulation Policy (GDPR) is a data security and privacy legislation that was implemented on 25th May 2018 for the protection of European Union citizens. It replaced the previous data protection policy that had been around since 1998 called the Data Protection Directive.

Following this policy, EU citizens have more control over their personal data collection and processing. Personal data includes basic information such as names, addresses, and photographs as well as more detailed information such as IP addresses, sexual orientation, religion, online behavior, and even political opinions.

The GDPR gives citizens the ability to request information about how their data is being used and the ability to have it deleted whenever they would like.

The policy has six main principles which are as follows;

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, transparency
  2. Purpose Limitation
  3. Data minimization
  4. Accuracy
  5. Storage Limitation
  6. Integrity and Confidentiality

How Does This Policy Impact US Organizations?

Despite being a policy created and meant for EU citizens, the GDPR has an impact on organizations within and outside the EU alike. Organizations in the United States that use any form of data involving the EU citizens will have to be compliant with this policy or else risk fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of their annual revenue (whichever is greater).

This policy will mean different things for each organization depending on the measures they already have in place. However, in order to demonstrate that you are a complying organization, you will have to show that you are taking the following factors into consideration;

  • Complying with the processing principles of the GDPR
  • Complying with lawful processing principles
  • Have explicit and valid consent from the subject
  • Protecting privacy rights of subjects
  • Reporting breaches in security within 72 hours
  • Maintaining transparency about how the data is being used
  • Having a Data Protection Office (DPO) in place
  • Following all regulations while transferring data outside the EU

A simple way to keep people informed about your data practices as an organization is to have a comprehensive privacy policy under the GDPR that is easily accessible. This should include the following;

  • How do you collect personal information?
  • What does this personal information consist of exactly?
  • What do you use this information for?
  • What data security measures do you have in place?
  • Do you share this data with other sources?
  • Do people who interact with your organization have any control over their data?
  • How can users contact you for questions regarding your privacy policy?
  • Do you use data to make automated decisions for users?

Aside from including the above points in your privacy policy, you should also take measures to ensure that you have explicitly obtained consent from users and have informed them about their rights under the GDPR.

US Organizations that stay compliant with the GDPR should not have a lot to worry about; however, if they fail to comply, they could be risking more than just fines – they could potentially lose out on valuable business in the EU.

Contact us if you would like more information about GDPR.  

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