The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive privacy law that establishes guidelines for the collection, use, and processing of personal data by businesses operating in the European Union (EU). It was adopted in 2016 and became effective on May 25, 2018. The purpose of the GDPR is to give individuals more control over their personal data and to harmonize data protection laws across the EU.
To comply with GDPR, businesses must:
Obtain explicit consent from individuals before processing their personal data.
Consent must be specific, informed, and freely given. It cannot be buried in lengthy terms and conditions or assumed by default. Individuals have the right to withdraw consent at any time.
Implement technical and organizational measures to safeguard personal data.
Businesses must ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personal data. This includes measures such as encryption, access controls, and regular backups. Companies must also conduct Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) to identify and mitigate privacy risks.
Report data breaches within 72 hours.
If personal data is compromised in a security breach, businesses must report the breach to the supervisory authority within 72 hours. They must also notify affected individuals if the breach is likely to result in a high risk to their rights and freedoms.
Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO).
Businesses that process large amounts of personal data or engage in high-risk activities must appoint a DPO. The DPO is responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance and serving as a point of contact for individuals and supervisory authorities.
Respect individuals’ rights under GDPR.
Under GDPR, individuals have the right to access, rectify, and erase their personal data. They also have the right to object to processing, to data portability, and to not be subject to automated decision-making.
Failure to comply with GDPR can result in hefty fines and reputational damage. Fines can be as high as €20 million or 4% of a business’s global annual revenue, whichever is higher. Therefore, businesses must prioritize GDPR compliance to ensure the protection of personal data and avoid legal consequences.
In summary, GDPR is a comprehensive privacy law that gives individuals more control over their personal data and harmonizes data protection laws across the EU. To comply with GDPR, businesses must obtain explicit consent, implement technical and organizational measures, report data breaches, appoint a DPO, and respect individuals’ rights. By prioritizing GDPR compliance, businesses can ensure the protection of personal data and avoid legal and financial consequences.