Since the GDPR came into force, over 900 fines have been issued across the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK. GDPR fines have significantly increased in recent months. Nearly €1 billion was fined for GDPR violations in Q3 2021, 20 times more than in Q1 and Q2 2021 combined. As a tech company, you may be wondering how the GDPR impacts your business and what you need to do to become compliant. Here are six steps to get your tech company GDPR compliant:
1. Understand the GDPR requirements.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data protection law that went into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR requires companies to take steps to protect the personal data of EU citizens and give them more control over their data.
Do you know where all of your customer data is stored? Do you have a process for ensuring that data is properly secured? Are you able to delete customer data upon request? Knowing the answers to these questions will help ensure you are taking the necessary steps to be GDPR compliant.
Besides, knowing the GDPR principles is a good starting point to write your policies and build your company’s privacy framework. To know more about it, check our series about the GDPR Principles.
2. Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO).
The GDPR requires companies to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) if they process large amounts of data or if their data processing activities involve special categories of data. The DPO is responsible for ensuring that the company complies with the GDPR.
A data map is a tool that can help you understand where all of your customer data is stored and how it flows through your organization. Creating a data map will help you identify any gaps in your data protection efforts and make sure that you are taking steps to protect all of your customer data.
Under the GDPR, companies must appoint a DPO if they process large amounts of personal data or if their data processing activities pose a risk to the rights and freedoms of EU citizens. The DPO is responsible for ensuring that the company complies with the GDPR and other data protection laws.
If you don’t know if your company needs to appoint a Data Protection Officer, check our resources here to find out.
Get consent from EU citizens for data processing.
Under the GDPR, companies must obtain explicit consent from EU citizens before collecting, using, or sharing their personal data. This means that you’ll need to update your consent forms and make sure that EU citizens are aware of their rights under the GDPR.
One tip to writing a clear consent statement is when explaining consent reasons, avoid complex phrasing: state in plain English why you want the data and what you will do with it. Remember to clearly name your organization and any third parties who rely on the user’s consent.
4. Create a process for handling data requests from individuals.
Under the GDPR, individuals have the right to access their personal data, request that their data be erased, and object to the use of their data for marketing purposes. You will need to create a process for handling these requests in order to be compliant with the GDPR.
To improve your internal processes for handling data requests follow the steps outlined here.
You can take our Data Subject Request Form as an example of how you can make this process easier for data subjects.
5. Implement security measures to protect personal data.
- Put systems in place to handle data requests from individuals.
- Train employees on GDPR compliance and data privacy best practices.
- Create a plan for responding to data breaches.
- Keep up with changes to the GDPR and other data privacy laws.
- Work with a data protection officer/advisor to ensure compliance.
6. Train your employees on GDPR compliance.
Make sure your employees understand the GDPR and what it means for the way they handle personal data. Train them on your company’s security measures and procedures for handling personal data. Teach them how to respond to data requests from individuals. Be sure to keep your employees trained on the latest GDPR compliance requirements.
For more resources, check our article 7 Tips for Successful GDPR Training.
And last but not least, monitor your compliance efforts. The GDPR is a dynamic law that is subject to change. Keep up with the latest changes so you can ensure your company is always compliant. This includes conducting regular audits, monitoring your data processing, and keeping track of changes to the GDPR.
Click below for a free consultation with us, where we will review your company data protection challenges and put together the next steps for compliance.