Your complete GDPR Compliance checklist for evaluating Data strategy
August 21, 2023
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the toughest privacy laws in the world. This regulation has an impact on how businesses approach external data protection policies (such as data security), as well as internal data access and usage. The goal is to provide EU citizens with greater transparency and control over their private data.
As your company grows and changes, you’ll need to add or remove infrastructure, people, and procedures to better meet your data demands. Adherence to these principles is crucial for effective data protection in general and for compliance with the specific requirements of the GDPR:
Data minimization – The data controller shall limit the gathering of personal information to what is directly relevant and required to achieve a specific goal.
Accuracy – Given values should be correct and consistent.
Lawfulness, transparency, and fairness – This implies that you must disclose the way you treat data and not treat the data in a way that’s unnecessarily harmful, unexpected, or deceptive to the people involved.
Accountability – This requires you to accept responsibility for how you handle personal data and how you adhere to the other principles.
Purpose limitation – Personal data processing must have a purpose, and you must notify persons whose data you are processing.
Storage limitation – You cannot store personal data for longer than you truly need it, even if you fairly and legally obtain and use it.
Integrity and confidentiality – Personal data must be handled “in a way [ensuring] sufficient security,” which includes “protection against unlawful processing or accidental loss, destruction, or damage.
The point is, compliance to GDPR should be just as important as SaaS marketing, B2B or B2C sales, and ecommerce PR. Follow these tips in this GDPR compliance checklist to evaluate your data strategy and ensure your business is complying with GDPR standards.
Hire a data protection officer
Companies that handle personal data and are required to comply with GDPR must designate a Data Protection Officer (DPO) if they have more than 10-15 workers. In addition to helping with the large-scale processing of particular categories of data, a DPO will assist with the upkeep and ongoing supervision of data subjects.
You should designate DPOs in locations where data processing functions are concentrated, even if they’re situated outside the EU. If any of your operations are based in the EU, a DPO should be based in the member-state where the company's headquarters are situated.
Ideally, the DPO should be able to communicate in the same language as the GDPR authorities in that state. This will assist you in comprehending the complexities of that state's GDPR and subsequently complying with it.
According to the GDPR, a DPO should be capable of performing the following duties:
Serve as the company's principal point of contact with GDPR regulators.
Clearly comprehend all the dangers that might arise from various processing activities.
Assist with all data processing inquiries as the primary point of contact.
Give precise guidance on data protection impact analyzes.
Tracking the processing of data to verify GDPR compliance.
Confidently advise both controllers and processes on appropriate GDPR compliance practices.
A DPO should be well-versed in GDPR regulations and best practices in order to carry out these duties successfully.
Your organization should use GDPR and cookie management technology to spot vulnerabilities that might let processed data out in order to help DPOs in their efforts.
Have a protocol in place to address data breach
An occurrence involving a security breach that compromises the confidentiality, accessibility, or integrity of data that your business or organization is in charge of constitutes a data breach.
To reduce the risk of data breaches and GDPR violations, ensure that all of your workers are aware of the GDPR standards as well as the potential penalties for noncompliance.
In the case of a data breach, your business should be prepared to inform regulators within 72 hours, as required by GDPR regulations, as well as the individual whose data has been compromised “without undue delay.”
Consider creating a training curriculum that focuses on both basic data protection topics and those that are unique to your business. Establish a training program and assign personnel to oversee the courses.
As an entity, it is essential that you take proper technical and institutional interventions to avoid reasonably practicable data breaches.
Carry out data protection impact assessment
The term “Data Protection Impact Assessment” (DPIA) refers to a procedure created to identify risks associated with the processing of personal data and to reduce such risks as much as feasible as soon as possible.
DPIAs are an important component of your accountability responsibilities. Conducting a DPIA is a legal obligation for any sort of processing, including specific, defined categories of processing that are likely to result in a substantial danger to people's rights and freedoms.
These assessment templates give a greater perspective into the actions that lead to data protection.
For example, if your organization has at least 250 workers or does high-risk data processing, it's important to keep an up-to-date and complete inventory of all personal data processing operations.
Conducting a regular DPIA is one of the simplest methods to verify GDPR compliance. A DPIA can help you:
Determine the dangers to data security.
Determine whether your firm complies with the GDPR.
Be able to prevent these threats before they produce data security difficulties.
Determine the potential impact of your data processing actions on data subjects.
You should get familiar with the Privacy Impact Assessment advice that is provided right away and choose how and when to apply it in your company.
Enable transparency in data collection
Your consumers must be aware of the information you’re gathering about them. Secret data collecting will only result in a costly non-compliance charge.
The easiest method to satisfy GDPR obligations for lawfulness and transparency is by adopting these six practices:
Before obtaining personal information from somebody, let them know.
Provide appropriate grounds for data collection and processing.
Collect only the information required for the stated purposes.
Set the duration of data storage.
Obtain the individuals' permission before processing their personal data
If you make any modifications to your data collection procedures, notify the data subjects right away.
There are some nuances to requesting users' consent. Ensure that you get consent for data processing by an opt-in activity, such as checking a box.
It's also a good idea to present information on data collection, processing, and storage in a clear and straightforward manner. All of this data should be freely accessible.
Ensure data governance
Data governance encompasses the people, procedures, and technology necessary to ensure that corporate data is handled consistently and correctly across the firm.
The data governance framework is built around four pillars to help your organization get the most out of their data.
Determine distinct use cases.
Value should be quantified.
Improve data capability.
Create a scalable delivery model.
You’re required to keep up-to-date records of your data supply chain, including data flow maps and inventories, from data collection to the point of data erasure.
The ongoing governance of what data is being gathered, why it is being collected, how it will be used for instance to check your email address list, where that data is stored, how it is protected, how access is managed, and how it will be deleted upon request or after expiry is made possible by maintaining current documentation.
The identity of the data controller and the Data Protection Officer's contact information should be stated in the privacy notice. It should also detail the reasons why personal data are collected, how they are used, who they are disclosed to, how long they are retained, and the legal basis on which the controller is processing the data.
Your privacy statement should be simple, straightforward, and easy to read. Avoid using too much legalese or technical language. You must notify your users if you decide to change how you utilize personal information.
Verify the age of users consenting to data processing
The implementation of GDPR should increase openness and allow users more control over their data. You must get consumer age verification before collecting and keeping data in order to tick this item off a data protection checklist.
Some ways to obtain user consent include:
Completing and signing a consent form on paper
Opting in by checking a box on paper or online
Clicking an online opt-in button or link.
Choose between two equally prominent yes/no choices
Selecting technical settings or dashboard preferences
If there is a chance that EU citizens under the age of 16 may interact with your website, you must provide an age verification system to authenticate users' ages before collecting any data.
In the long run, GDPR compliance will increase consumer loyalty and trust, as well as open doors to increased innovation and value creation.
Data protection is about promoting transparency. Use this GDPR compliance checklist to ensure your business is doing just that.
Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies. When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.