The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was established to provide rules for companies to adhere to when managing and storing personal data. GDPR states the responsibility of firms to protect and ensure the privacy of individuals they retain data on, while giving rights to these individuals and assigning powers to regulators. These powers include the ability to demand accountability and being able to deal out fines when companies fail to comply with the regulations. Below are some key features of GDPR, which all enterprises should be aware of:
1. Transparent and legal processing
Firms must state clearly how personal data will be used and only process it for legitimate reasons, assuming responsibility for it while it’s retained.
2. Limiting data processed and stored
Enterprises are expected to only collect and store the required data and to not hold onto it for any longer than necessary. To assist with this, companies should always request the minimum amount of data possible from individuals and delete information when it is not required.
3. Rights of data subjects
Data subjects have the right to request companies inform them of any data they are holding on them and how it is being used. If there are errors in data retained, the person can ask for this to be updated. They can also ask for personal data to be deleted or transferred.
If companies need to use data for reasons other than those originally stated, they must first obtain consent from subjects.
5. Data breaches
Companies must establish and maintain a register of personal data breaches. Depending on the severity of a breach, the UK data regulator and the subjects impacted must be contacted inside of 72 hours.
6. Design for privacy
Firms should incorporate technical and organisational methods to ensure personal data is kept private and secure by default.
7. Secure data transfer
If the company is the data controller, it is accountable for the data remaining secure, even when it must be processed by third party enterprises.
8. Appointing data protection officers
When significant quantities of personal data must be processed, companies are advised to assign a dedicated data protection officer.
9. Employee awareness and education
It is the responsibility of every enterprise to educate its employees and ensure they are aware of the crucial requirements of GDPR. Businesses must carry out scheduled training sessions, making certain staff members are fully aware of their role in company compliance regarding protecting personal data. Employees should also be well-informed on the correct procedure to take following a data breach, with a clear line of reporting in place.
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