Ongoing accounts of the misuse of data about Internet users have prompted authorities to create laws and regulations to standardize how personal data is collected and used. One of these regulations is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The European Union (EU) created the GDPR, and it has become one of the world's strictest data privacy and protection laws.
Companies collecting personal data from their customers must be GDPR compliant. So, if you handle customer data, you need to familiarize yourself with this data protection act and relevant privacy compliance software. In this article, you’ll learn more about GDPR and its seven principles.
What Is GDPR?
GDPR imposes obligations on companies worldwide that target or obtain personal data from their customers located in the EU. This regulation came into effect in May 2018, and it levies harsh fines against any company that violates its privacy and security principles. GDPR fines can run into tens of millions of euros.
The EU formulated this regulation to protect the privacy of its citizens. With GDPR, the EU took a firm stand against the misuse of personal data by unscrupulous companies. The passing of this regulation was essential, mainly because everyone is now entrusting their personal information to cloud services where data breaches are rampant.
Does the Data Protection Act protect companies against breaches of their privacy? This legal framework doesn’t govern information about companies and other legal entities. Nonetheless, data about one-person entities (such as sole proprietors) may be considered personal information under the right circumstances.
To follow the GDPR, your company must adhere to the seven main principles of the regulation that relate to data processing. Data processing includes collecting, organizing, storing, altering, consulting, using, communicating, combining, restricting, erasing and destroying personal information. The GDPR principles guide the lawful handling of personal data collected from people residing in the EU.
Here are the seven GDPR principles to use as a guide when performing any of the above functions with personal data.
1. Lawfulness, Fairness And Transparency
You should always have a good and lawful reason for processing personal data. And you must fulfill all legal obligations that come with the territory. Take steps to check that the user has authorized you to process the data, especially if you are using it to create a contract with the user.
2. Purpose Limitation
The principle of purpose limitation sets restrictions around data usage, ensuring that you use the personal data you collect only for the intended purposes, as stated in the GDPR. Therefore, you have to establish your purpose for collecting personal data from your customers.
3. Data Minimization
This principle ensures that you only collect the amount of data you need to achieve the intended purposes. For example, suppose you collect data to compile a list of subscribers for your newsletters. In that case, you only are allowed to gather information necessary for sending out newsletters, like email addresses and names, and nothing else.
It’s your responsibility to ascertain that the personal data you collect is accurate. So, set up your checks and balances to support error-free information. Also, erase and correct anything that‘s not accurate.
5. Storage Limitation
This GDPR principle requires you to establish and justify the amount of time you intend to retain the personal data you collect. This is essential to meeting storage limitation policies. Choose a standard retention period and afterwards make sure the information you no longer need is anonymized.
6. Integrity And Confidentiality
You are required to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of the personal data you obtain from your users. Make sure it’s secure from any form of breach. This requires extensive planning and active diligence to ensure your information is safe against unauthorized and unlawful processing or accidental loss.
Don’t be a company that claims to follow the rules and then doesn’t. This principle ensures that you maintain the highest level of accountability. Therefore, you have to implement processes and records to prove that you are compliant.
These seven GDPR principles guarantee every company handles personal data collected from its customers responsibly, taking steps for the information to remain secure from illegal processing. Customers can rest easier knowing that this regulation is in place.