Those who process personal data of EU residents should comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. Non-compliance with GDPR may result in hefty fines and reputational losses. For example, last year Meta (Instagram) failed to comply with data processing principles and got a fine of €405 million – the second-largest financial penalty ever imposed since GDPR came into force.
To maintain a good business image and avoid penalties, it is necessary to clearly understand the key requirements of the GDPR and how to comply with them. In this article, we will explain what companies that have already entered or are entering the EU market in 2023 should pay attention to.
GDPR compliance is more than a mere declaration of the processes
However, it is not enough to just formally have such policies in place. Under GDPR, it is crucial to ensure that the processes declared in policies are actually implemented in practice. Therefore, they should also be communicated to the people in charge who can ensure their enforcement (i.e. by promoting necessary changes in the company itself).
Moreover, it is necessary to remember that personal data processing processes are dynamic. For example, over time, a company may start processing additional information about its users, which is why policies should be periodically reviewed and updated.
In case of a data breach, the right reaction is the most important thing
A data breach is a breach of security leading to the destruction, loss, alteration or disclosure of personal data. It can happen to anyone, even if security measures are implemented.
In case of a data breach, the key is to ensure that all team members clearly understand what a personal data breach is and how they should respond to it. If employees cannot identify a data breach, they will not take all necessary actions required by the GDPR.
Therefore, it is important to provide efficient training for the team, so that they will be able to distinguish a security incident from a data breach and also clearly understand their role – exactly what they need to do in case of a data breach or to whom and how it should be reported.
GDPR compliance is much simpler and less stressful with a trained team that quickly performs all the necessary actions – especially, for example, in a case when a data breach requires notification of the supervisory authority, which should be done within 72 hours after having become aware of it.
Special features and evolution of the Data Protection Officer role
Data Protection Officer is a special role under the GDPR that is essential for a company to comply with European privacy regulations. DPO can be either an employee or a contractor of the company, an individual or a legal entity. In some cases, GDPR requires DPO to be appointed.
However, DPO is not a mere formality needed to comply with the law. Today, DPO is an indication of respect for users’ privacy and a significant competitive advantage. DPO, in a way, adjusts the course of the company’s ship so that it will not hit an iceberg and sink.
DPO understands the depths and nuances of privacy laws and can have a wide range of responsibilities – from ensuring general privacy compliance to responding to requests of users or supervisory authorities.
Development of niche GDPR practices
It is obvious that companies operating in different areas – for example, outsourcing or ad–tech – have their own work specifics. However, it is not always clear that GDPR compliance for different companies will also have its own particularities.
Its main purpose, of course, will not change – the protection of user privacy and compliance with European laws. But the details may vary. In particular, ad-tech companies may pay more attention to the GDPR requirements in the marketing field – for example, the user’s right to object to the processing of their data for direct marketing purposes.
Therefore, it is important for companies to monitor the best market practices in their respective industries and implement them in the company’s processes. Today, the community is the key privacy force to listen to or to participate in – i.e. by turning your company into a role model for others.
GDPR compliance is an ongoing process
Last but not least, it is important to understand that GDPR compliance is an ongoing process.
On the one hand, the company itself changes – there are new projects launched, new contractors involved, or more personal data processed. On the other hand, the global community also changes – new technical and organizational methods of data security emerge or new guidelines that interpret and affect the practical use of certain GDPR provisions are being published.
Regular changes mean that it is necessary to keep a finger on the pulse. It is important to ensure that documents correspond to the actual processes in the company and that privacy practices meet modern standards.
Legal IT Group will help you to achieve up-to-date GDPR compliance. Contact us via our website or send an e-mail and we will be happy to help you with all your privacy issues, starting from consulting and drafting the necessary GDPR documents to providing DPO as a service.