Have you heard all the buzz around GDPR but are still confused as to what it is? Well, to explain it, GDPR has the potential to make it difficult for your business to exist. It is a mandatory EU law about data security and privacy regulations, protecting the personal data of all European citizens. GDPR demands the businesses to inform their users every time they use their client’s personal data and urges them to delete the user’s data as soon as they provide their services. Refusal or incompetence to comply with GDPR can result in hefty fines, a damaged reputation, and multiple lawsuits waiting at your doorstep.
As a company can’t provide any services without accessing and storing a client’s personal data, it has become increasingly challenging to tiptoe around the GDPR. Companies are facing extreme difficulties in accommodating their European clients now under the protection of the GDPR.
Now the question arises, how do you navigate this world with GDPR? In this article, we will be explaining what GDPR is, how it works, and why should you be concerned?
What is GDPR?
With data breaches a daily occurrence nowadays, the General Data Protection Regulation, better known as GDPR, is a mandatory EU law that implements personal data security and privacy rules. The regulation was put into effect on May 25, 2018, and is the strictest data protection law in the world.
The GDPR provides EU citizens with the right to access, erase, rectify and object to the usage of their personal data, which includes information such as their name, address, phone number, past purchases, health, and so on. The companies are under strict obligations to inform their customers of how their data is being processed, update their customers about any data breach within 72 hours, and store the customers’ personal data for the minimum time possible. Failure to comply with GDPR can result in hefty fines and a tarnished reputation.
The 8 basic rules of GDPR are:
1. Right To Inform
This rule provides people with the right to access their personal data. It allows people access to information such as how their data is being processed, whom their data is being shared with, and the purpose of sharing the data.
2. Right To Access
This rule provides people the right to demand a copy of their personal data that is being processed. People can also ask for any other relevant information relating to their data.
3. Right Of Rectification
People are provided with the right to rectify their data if it’s incomplete or incorrect. Individuals can demand the company to rectify their personal data if it is no longer accurate or relevant.
4. Right Of Erasure
An individual has the right to demand any company to erase or delete personal data relating to them within 30 days of having submitted the data for any number of reasons.
5. Right Of Portability
Right to portability allows the customers to obtain the data being used by the company and use it for their own purposes. The data must be processed in an organized manner with a machine-readable format.
6. Right To Restrict Processing
This rule allows people to restrict personal data processing if they feel their data is being used for non-service-related purposes. Companies can refuse this request of their clients under certain circumstances such as:
- When some legal work is being carried out.
- When data is being used for public service purposes.
- When the processing of data is required to provide the customer with the service they asked for.
7. Right To Object
The right to object gives people the liberty to oppose and stop the processing of their personal data at any given moment.
8. Right In Relation To Automated Decision Making And Profiling
This provides the populace the right to resist being subjected to automated decision-making and profiling.
GDPR compliance is the practice of adhering to and enacting the GDPR in your companies and strictly following it. Even though GDPR is effective in EU countries only, it is also being used in other countries because it still affects all the Europeans living on foreign soil. All the companies targeting a European audience or already existing European customer base also fall under this category and are obligated to follow the GDPR rules.
Failure of GDPR compliance can result in hefty fines of up to 20 million Euros or 4% of a company’s yearly turnover. As it is impossible for companies not to have European clients, the best possible solution is to enact a GDPR compliance policy in your company. According to Global Forensic Data Analysis Survey by Ernst and Young, only 33% of the respondents have a GDPR compliance policy plan, with the other 39% claiming to be unfamiliar with GDPR.
While it seems like Europeans are ready for this change with 60% of the European companies already having a GDPR compliance plan, it looks like the rest of the world has some catching up to do: Africa and Middle – East (27%), America (13%) and Asia (12%). So the question plaguing everyone is that with Europe going through a technological revolution, should the rest of the world be worried?
Consequences Of Failing To Follow GDPR
If you do not have a GDPR policy already enacted in your company, then it is certainly something to be worried about. Not only will it cause you to lose countless valuable customers, but the failure to comply with GDPR will also damage your reputation. It will land a severe blow on your credibility, giving an edge to all your rival companies over you.
Some of the reasons why companies are failing in enacting a GDPR policy is:
The enactment of GDPR will require skilled workers and highly advanced technical equipment. It is harder for smaller companies to enact GDPR because of low budgets and less-skilled workers.
Companies Situated Abroad:
While it is true that Europe is prepared for this change, the rest of the world is having a hard time wrapping its heads around it. Foreign companies are finding it challenging to create a GDPR policy to accommodate their European customers. Though companies abroad are trying to comply with their European clients, it will take a year or two to develop a robust GDPR plan.
Even so, companies worldwide are working hard and trying to find ways to fit in GDPR along with their current regulations to accommodate their European clients. Foreign companies who have already enacted a GDPR policy are being more favored in the overseas market due to their flexibility and adaptability, giving them an edge over all their rival companies. So wouldn’t it be better to join the prestigious club instead of watching those companies succeed from the sidelines?
Though you must be warned, GDPR is severe business, and failure to comply with GDPR will result in:
Companies failing to follow the GDPR and suffering security breaches will have to pay hefty fines. The fine can go up to 17 million Euros or 4% of the company’s annual turnover, which is no small amount to pay. Naturally, the amount of the fine depends upon the severity of the data breach. Certain elements will be considered before fining the company:
- The seriousness of the data breach will be regarded when fining a company.
- The company’s previous record regarding data breaches will be checked.
- The type of personal data involved and leaked during the breach will also be taken into account.
A data breach can ruin a company’s integrity. Failure to comply with GDPR will result in a damaged reputation which will cost you, countless clients. Individuals are reluctant to trust a company that has suffered a data breach or have received a compliance penalty. GDPR compliance has the potential to make or break your company. Try to spread the word that GDPR compliance is a company-wide responsibility and make GDPR your top priority before it’s too late to salvage your reputation.
GDPR In Pakistan
Although Asia is the least GDPR compliant continent (12%), it is rapidly increasing its rate, with numerous companies becoming GDPR compliant each day to accommodate their European clients. Pakistan is one of the countries in Asia where companies are becoming GDPR compliant at lightning speed. Our company Genetech Solutions, one of the leading IT houses in Pakistan, is a GDPR compliant company. We value our clients and understand the need for these data security laws. Our product, Pie Forms, is a GDPR compliant WordPress plugin offering optional GDPR settings to accommodate our European clients. To better understand our GDPR policies check out: How to make your forms GDPR compliant using Pie Forms
We hope this article was helpful for you and you are already thinking about being a GDPR compliant business. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries.