The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which is the European Union’s new privacy regulation, came into effect in May 2018. The compliance rules of the GDPR, though they seem to be simple, do have some minor complications and hence companies that seek to comply with the regulation should see to it that they don’t overlook things. There are certain things that companies might tend to overlook, either due to ignorance or due to practical constraints. But that shouldn’t happen. Here’s a look at certain aspects of complying with the GDPR which many companies tend to overlook:
What the employees do on a day-to-day basis also counts!
As regards complying with the GDPR, it’s not that you just do it once and then rest assured that compliance is done. What employees do on a day-to-day basis, as regards data collection, data storage, data processing etc, also counts when it comes to ensuring compliance. Every single company that seeks to comply with the GDPR needs to ensure that employees, on a day-to-day basis, plan and execute their activities aligning it all with the GDPR policies. Hence, the employees need to be educated and trained accordingly, and if they make mistakes, intentionally or unintentionally, corrective action should be taken. It’s also to be ensured that everything that an employee must report to the compliance officer is duly reported, on time. All this helps in ensuring proper compliance and in reducing risks as well.
Remember, compliance is not just about customer data
The GDPR definitely seeks to secure the personal data of customers, but at the same time, GDPR compliance is not just as regards securing customer data. Every company should handle with utmost care personal data of its employees, job applicants, clients, business partners and everyone who comes in touch with the company, customer or non-customer.
Best practice is to collect only necessary data
The best practice, for any company, would be to collect only the data that is necessary. This is because the GDPR makes it mandatory that all data processing activities have a legal justification and hence it’s best for any company to go for data minimization so that better GDPR compliance can be ensured. Moreover, there should be timely disposing of data that would no longer be needed, including customers’ data, personal data of employees, resume of job seekers who haven’t been taken in, client-related data that wouldn’t be needed etc.
Companies need to ensure adequate breach response process
GDPR compliance becomes full only if companies ensure that they have adequate beach response processes in place. The IT department, or the security partner, should see to it that the company goes for periodic dry runs. Similarly, whenever there is a security incident, relevant authorities need to be intimated within 72 hours.
The staff needs to be issued with a ‘Data Privacy Notice’
The staff of every company needs to be issued with a ‘Data Privacy Notice’, which should comprise details as to which personal data will be processed, the duration of processing employees’ personal data, their rights, details of persons to be contacted regarding data-related issues etc. The employees should be assured that their personal data will be processed only under ‘legitimate interest’, and this needs to be strictly adhered to since processing personal data without lawful grounds is a breach of the GDPR.
Don’t forget that GDPR awareness and training are essential
Everyone in a company should be made aware of what GDPR means for them; if there are international teams, they should also be made aware of their responsibilities under GDPR. Employees need to be made aware of the consequences of non-compliance and they should also be trained on the basic procedures that need to be followed for ensuring proper compliance.
Running frequent mini audits could prove good
This is something that could benefit any company that seeks to ensure proper, total GDPR compliance. Go for frequent mini audits, in addition to the regular official compliance audits (annual, half-yearly or quarterly). In fact, such mini audits can be very easily incorporated into the daily workflow in any company and can be carried out without hindering the day-to-day activities in any manner.
Coming to the regular audit, it’s advisable to go for quarterly or at least half-yearly audits. Those in charge of the compliance could plan the audits and even automate the whole audit process so that issues, if any, are spotted and rectified with promptness.
Remember, GDPR compliance, for any company, is of crucial importance as regards data security and the successful running of its business. So, make sure you go for proper, total compliance, for your own sake!