The Foundation For Data Protection and GDPR for EU Business Hubs

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Any business working within the EU or with customers in the EU have certain responsibilities and obligations when it comes to the use and storage of personal data. This falls under the EU GDPR.

With this in mind and considering the penalties for failing to comply with regulations, it is always in the best interests of the business to outsource the role of data protection officer (DPO) to a specialist company and service, especially if your company trades within a different country to its headquarters and wants to be sure that all areas of data protection services (diensten gegevensbescherming) are covered.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law which applies to all people in the EU. It regulates the collection and processing of ‘personal data’ relating to individuals. When it comes to business and the collection of data, this makes it a vital regulation that must be adhered to at all times by any company located within or trading within the EU. Individuals whose data is being held or processed are referred to as ‘data subjects’. If the data is not regarded as ‘personal; it is not regulated by the GDPR.

How does an EU business comply with GDPR?

There are several general principles of GDPR that every business must follow, although within this there could be variances in terms of the type of business and how each uses personal data. The seven principles set out that personal data must be:

  1. Processed in a fair and lawful way
  2. Collected only for legitimate purposes (that are specified from the outset)
  3. Relevant and limited to what is necessary for the process
  4. Accurate as of the date collected
  5. Stored for only as long as it is necessary to the process
  6. Processed securely
  7. Processed responsibly with accountability for Data Controllers

There are a few strategies that companies in the EU can take to help alleviate the pressure and to fully comply with GDPR and other EU regulations. Processing data doesn’t have to be tricky, if you follow a clear, transparent path that is designed to suit the specific needs of your business.

Understanding compliance for a business

There are a few things you can do as a business to recognise if you are complying with GDPR and data protection rules. By working through this list, you can begin to look at the areas of your business where you might need to tighten things up and make some changes to make sure you are fully compliant.

Understand the need for the legislation

The GDPR came into force in 2018, providing individuals with greater control over their personal data and how it relates to businesses. There are now clear rules as to what companies can do with personal data, how long it can be stored for, and for what purposes.

What is personal data?

‘Personal data’ refers to any information that could be used to identify that person directly, such as a name, an IP address, or an ID number, credit card details, bank account details, photos, and more. Businesses collect a lot of information about their customers and employees, and how they store and process that data is now under scrutiny.

Understand the seven principles

We’ve mentioned the seven principles of GDPR above, and this is crucial to planning and implementing a strategy to comply with EU GDPR as a business. You have a legal obligation to respond to a request from an individual about their own data.

Be at the forefront of GDRP decisions

As the business owner it is ultimately your responsibility to be front and centre when it comes to decisions about data collection and processing. Understand the data your company collects and find out what you should be doing to comply.

Check your systems

You must ensure that the systems you have in place to collect, store, and process data, is secure. Install better security processes and measures if you feel your current system is not up to scratch with legislation.

Report data breaches

A data breach could be a deliberate act by a cyber-criminal or an accidental problem. Either way, if a data breach has occurred you must be prepared to report this immediately to the relevant authorities, as the individual data subjects could be at risk.

Working with an outsourced DPO to ensure that your business meets all data protection regulations within the EU should be of utmost importance to you as a business owner. The penalties and fines for mishandling personal data of customers, suppliers, employees can have a massive impact on the ability of a business to continue.

Failing to implement robust security measures around data not only has the legislative impact and financial consequences, but it also hurts the reputation of a company and brand, and this can have an even greater impact over the longer period of time. Find a specialist outsourced DPO to work with you and to implement clear, robust strategies to deal with data protection and GDPR in the EU.