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Implemented in 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was formed by the European Union with the aim to safeguard data privacy for its citizens. With its strict rules and harsh consequences, organizations commonly run into conflict with these rules. Since its inception, the GDPR has grown to affect companies globally – from those that operate in the EU to those that handle EU citizens’ data.
The core of GDPR regulations surrounds the “data subject,” which is the individual giving their personal data. Tracking each and every data subject throughout a company’s processing can pose strenuous obstacles for CEOs. To provide clarity to data subjects as well as company leaders, here is a detailed layout of the challenges of GDPR regulations, and their solutions.
A significant portion of companies are ignorant of the details of being GDPR compliant. In a study by the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), over 50% of professionals at companies handling European citizen data had little to no knowledge about GDPR. This lack of knowledge can be detrimental, as authorities impose fines worth millions of euros, and can even demand to receive a small percentage of the companies’ annual global turnover.
The GDPR requires all companies looking to access data to obtain voluntary consent from the data subjects. Managing and collecting each individual’s consent without letting any slip through the cracks poses a challenge for cybersecurity workers. The regulations state that a data subject can, at any time, file a complaint or sue the company if they have reasonable concerns that their data is not being handled correctly..
If a data protection incident takes place at a company, the CEO has a very limited window to take action. Under the GDPR, an incident must be reported to both the data protection authorities as well as the companies or individuals affected within 72 hours, or else the previously mentioned consequences will be put into place. As defined by the GDPR, an incident entails any “accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to personal data.” Thus, it’s crucial for organizations to create a detailed plan for course of action ahead of any incident.
Studies show that companies of larger scale possess higher risk of investigation and serious consequence. In a study by the Information Commissioner’s Office of the United Kingdom (ICO), 43% of incidents affecting more than 100,000 people resulted in a government investigation, while only 5% of cases involving 10 people or less saw government intervention.
The wider the company’s reach is, the more responsible they are for maintaining rigid standards for customers’ data. Thus, CEOs must have varying data protection plans in place depending on the size of their company.
There are many strategies companies can implement in order to assure GDPR compliance and attain peace of mind when collecting data.
The best way to abide by GDPR regulations is to be knowledgeable on what the law states. This has resulted in many organizations implementing a mandatory curriculum for employees working in data collection and privacy to keep everyone on the same page.
Larger scale organizations may need to bring in GDPR experts such as a Data Protection Officer (DPO) dedicated to GDPR compliance. DPOs possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to navigate the complexities of GDPR, safeguard customer data, and establish robust data protection practices, ultimately fostering trust and enhancing the organization’s reputation. Having GDPR experts on staff ensures comprehensive understanding and effective implementation of the regulations, minimizing the risk of non-compliance and potential penalties.
In this digital age, a modern way to combat data protection challenges posed by GDPR is to use new digital infrastructures. Updated platforms have integrated GDPR compliance guidelines in order to best structure a company’s workflow and response techniques. While these programs can be trusted to have the most recent knowledge on all GDPR regulations, they still require labor from regulation experts to monitor the services.
Here are 3 SaaS platforms specialized in data privacy for businesses:
Consulting firms provide data protection consultations to provide status checks and roadmaps for how to strategically structure a company’s data collection plan to meet the mandatory regulations. These firms employ experts who possess in-depth knowledge of GDPR requirements and can advise on compliance strategies tailored to a given organization’s specific needs.
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