Among thousands of data privacy regulations worldwide, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one important regulation to control the storage and processing of the data of EU citizens. As one of the strictest data protection laws globally, GDPR imposes strict penalties that could amount to millions of dollars for non-compliance based on the nature of the data breach. This article describes essential information about the GDPR, its importance to the US, non-compliance penalties, the GDPR checklist, and what to do in case of a data breach.
What is GDPR?
With the rapid growth of internet usage, the EU identified the need to protect data from the threats of modern technologies. They initially established minimum data privacy and security standards through the European Data Protection Directive as the first step towards minimizing risks for personal information due to advancing technologies. Next, the GDPR was established on May 25, 2018, as a comprehensive approach for data protection.
If an organization in the EU collects and processes the personal data of the people in the EU, it must abide by the rules of GDPR. Today, GDPR is a strong privacy and security law that ensures the protection of personal information. It regulates data that can be used to identify a specific individual uniquely. Thus organizations that handle sensitive personal data must comply with GDPR data privacy standards.
Why Is GDPR Implementation Important in The US?
The GDPR does not apply to US citizens or EU citizens who live in the US. However, it will apply to the data collected by organizations from US citizens living in the EU. The main objective of GDPR is to regulate the usage of the personal data of EU citizens. Therefore, GDPR applies to all the US companies that store and process the personal data of EU residents.
The GDPR fines fall under two tiers, while the amount of fine depends on the tier the breach belongs to.
An organization failing to appoint a representative is considered a first-tier breach of the GDPR. The fines can range up to €10,000,000 ($11,022,150) or 2% of the organization’s annual revenue, whichever is higher.
The second-tier fines apply for more severe violations of the GDPR. They can range up to €20,000,000 ($2,2052,100) or 4% of the annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. The GDPR also considers the organizational measures compliant with it when determining the fines.
In addition to the fines, businesses are also subject to civil liability. Suppose that the violation of GDPR rules caused harm to an individual or a consumer. In that case, that person has the right to get compensation from the business for the impact. Apart from that, a class-action system introduced by the GDPR enables non-profit organizations to initiate legal proceedings against a business for a set of consumers.
GDPR requires businesses to keep personal information safe and offer consumers more control over their data. Organizations can go through the following checklist to comply with GDPR and understand the necessary measures they should take.
EU Personal Data Audit
First and foremost, identify the types of personal data you store and process and whether those data are related to EU citizens. To understand if your data processing activities are related to the GDPR, according to Recital 23, you can see if “the processing activities are related to offering goods or services to such data subjects irrespective of whether connected to a payment.”
Inform Customers How Their Data Is Used
Data Protection Impact Assessment
It is essential to assess the impact of your data processing activities and identify how to avoid those impacts. For instance, implement the required security measures such as end-to-end encryption to avoid data leaks. Moreover, always follow the rules of data protection by design and default when you start something new that uses personal information.
Establish Data Processing Agreement with Vendors
If you use third-party services such as cloud and email services that use personal data, you are responsible for any GDPR violations by those third-party clients. Therefore, you must have a data processing agreement with them to let each party understand the responsibilities of the GDPR.
Understand Data Breach Procedure
Understand the possible ways of data breaches in your organization. If you fall victim to a data breach, act according to Articles 33 and 34, notifying the authorities.
What if There Is a GDPR Data Breach?
Here is what you can do in the event of a data breach.
Contact Supervisory Authority
If there is a data breach, act according to Articles 33 and 34 notifying the authorities “not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it, notify the personal data breach to the supervisory authority competent by Article 55, unless the personal data breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons.” The authority can be a local government official, FTC, or directly the EU.
Describe Nature of Breach
When it comes to describing a data breach, include the categories of data with the number of affected data records and the categories and the number of personal data records affected.
Establish Further Contact Point
Next, it is essential to notify the relevant user about the name and the contact details of the data protection officer in your country to get more information. If there is any other contact, provide it as well. Take a look at the contacts of data protection authorities in each country.
Explain Likely Consequences
Clearly explain what can happen to the personal data compromised due to the data breach. Then, the relevant users can take preventive measures such as removing or changing the details of the associated accounts.
Determine Damage Control Measures
Describe what steps the controller has taken or planned to solve the data breach. It may include the actions that have been taken to avoid the adverse effects of the data breach.
GDPR Implementation Summary
GDPR is one of the most critical data privacy and security laws established to protect personal data used by businesses. Violation of the GDPR rules incur penalties based on the tier the violation belongs to. However, huge monetary penalties can apply for each tier based on the annual revenue of the company. You can follow the checklist described in this article to make your organization GDPR compliant. In case of a data breach, make sure to follow the steps described here as a standard procedure.
Secure Websites with Idea Maker
At Idea Maker, we ensure your websites are GDPR compliant by protecting personal information. For example, Idea Maker provides storage encryption to prevent cyber attacks and other data breaches keeping your personal information safe. We also guarantee encryption at transit through mechanisms like Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. It enables users to connect with health care apps securely using HTTPS protocol.
On top of that, we use other strategies such as data backups to prevent data loss in an infrastructure failure or a cyber attack. Therefore, you can quickly recover the data and ensure compliance with GDPR requirements. Additionally, we use strong authentication and authorization mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access to your data. So, there’s no need to worry about violating GDPR rules if you build your healthcare apps using Idea Maker.
Are you excited to build GDPR-compliant secure websites using Idea Maker? Contact us today.