Understanding Compliance with GDPR Regulations
Compliance with GDPR regulations has caused quite a bit of confusion since being introduced. Many website owners are not sure what exactly it is, let alone how to make their websites GDPR compliant.
This article is meant as a general introduction to GDPR regulations, what their purpose is, and how to be compliant. So let’s start with the basics, what is GDPR? It stands for General Data Protection Regulation. The European Union made it into law in order to protect its citizens’ rights to privacy.
The law was deemed necessary due to the fact that wherever you go online, information is being collected. Without information collection, the internet as we know it would not exist. However, that information could potentially put people at risk.
Two of the most important and basic fundamentals of GDPR are Privacy by Design (PbD) and consent. PbD basically means that when new software is designed, it should keep information collection to a bare minimum, it should also include security measures to protect the information collected. Consent obviously means that a website should ask for consent to use the collected information.
What are the steps in becoming GDPR compliant?
The process can be somewhat complicated, and many steps can be involved. The scope of this article is not to give an exhaustive manual on GDPR compliance. Instead, it is to take the confusion out of it and help understand the basics.
If a website involves high-risk activity, then it needs to follow “Data Protection Impact Assessments” or DPIAs. High-risk activities include things such as tracking a user’s location, dealing with biometric data, the use of new technology, and specifically marketing children.
For sites that fall in this category, Privacy policies are a vital part of GDPR compliance. It is essential to include information on what exactly is done with users’ information.
Several other things must be included in the privacy policies; such as why the company collects information, who the company is and who represents them, the website must explain how long the information will be kept, and what the rights of the user are. The recipients of the information need to be specified, and if there is an EU representative, contact details must be provided. All of this must be written in easy to understand language.
Another requirement of GDPR compliance is that any data breaches must be reported to the authorities and users within 72 hours.
How can a website owner know if they are obliged to become GDPR compliant? The main determining factor is if you do business in or target users from the European Union. If you do, then you need to be compliant. On the other hand, if a business simply runs a small website that doesn’t collect information for use from or target citizens of the European Union, then they are not obliged to become compliant.
So here’s a recap of the main information from this article: GDPR regulates how a company deals with the personal information that they collect. Any company worldwide that does business in the EU or targets EU citizens needs to be GDPR compliant. Transparency is a must, and users need to be informed about the handling of their private information in layman’s terms.
These are the basics of compliance with GDPR regulations. It is the responsibility of each and every company to evaluate if they need to be GDPR compliant, and they are accountable by law to do so. If a company sees that they should become GDPR compliant, they can find very detailed information on the official GDPR website.