GDPR Compliance Basics For Web-Based Businesses

GDPR Compliance Basics For Web-Based Businesses

In the modern digital world, people have changed how they do their things. With the introduction of the internet, most people spend a better part of their day online. People use the internet to work from home, attend online studies, attend business seminars, and use shopping online. 

All that’s required is for them to log in to the service provider website using their personal details, which exposes their details to strangers. That's why businesses that collect customers' data in the European Union (EU) must comply with the set rules for protecting customers' data and information.  

In this article, you'll learn what GDPR is, what GDPR compliance is, when the GDPR law was enforced, and much more. But before you dive into the details, you might first want to research and learn more about the checklist for GDPR compliance. Complying with GDPR will ensure you're not caught on the wrong side of the law. Continue reading.

What Is The GDPR?

What Is The GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It's a European Union law that requires the privacy of online users to be protected. It requires all businesses to protect the personal data of all European Union citizens they carry out transactions with. GDPR covers how customer's data is obtained when they visit a particular website. 

The GDPR was approved for publication in 2016 and enacted on May 2018, replacing the older Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and granting individuals more control over their personal information. Businesses big and small are equally accountable for any breaches and other issues with handling such sensitive data.

What Is GDPR Compliance?

In recent years, there has been a lot of personal data breach cases. It happens when personal data gets lost, stolen, or falls in the hands of the wrong or unintended people. Some of these people might have bad or malicious intentions. 

GDPR compliance requires companies to follow the right procedures when gathering customers' data. After collecting customers' information, a company has a legal duty to manage and protect it from exploitation. Any business website that doesn't comply with this regulation might be punished. 

Does GDPR Apply To Everyone?

If you're offering products or services in any EU or European Economic Area member-states, you must comply with GDPR. This means if you have an online store in Europe, you have to abide by this policy.  

This law doesn't only apply to companies and citizens based in Europe. It also covers any other company that interacts with EU citizens. In other words, GDPR applies to any company operating within the European Union States and also to any other organization that offers goods or services to EU citizens. 

Apart from businesses, other platforms like social media must also comply with GDPR.  

What Type Of Citizen Data Is Protected By GDPR?

The GDPR protects personal data, which it defines in Article 4, Paragraph 1 as 'any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.' While it sounds broad, it ensures that less explicit data like minutes of meetings and timecards fall within the GDPR’s protection. 

Given the definition, the GDPR only protects information referring to persons; it doesn’t apply to those referring to groups or institutions. Also, any person who passes away loses protection, as it only applies to 'natural’ or living persons.

More importantly, the GDPR requires that sensitive personal data be subject to a higher degree of protection and processing. These include:

  • Data on racial origin, religion, and philosophical and political leanings
  • Membership into any trade union
  • Biometrics and other genetic data
  • Medical and other health records
  • Information on sexual orientation

Experts recommend storing such information separately from other kinds of personal data as the first step in GDPR compliance. Businesses must have a ‘lawful’ reason for handling sensitive personal data under Articles 6 and 9.

What Is The Implication Of GDPR To Businesses?

GDPR has established a common law that cuts across regional and international sets of rules that apply to businesses and organizations operating within or with European member-states. They’re now more obligated to respect their customers’ wishes whether or not they consent to sharing their personal data. 

They’re also required to invest in updating their cybersecurity measures to better protect the data they have on record. In the U.K., a report from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, & Sport stated that the country’s cybersecurity industry had grown by 44% in 2020 since the GDPR was announced. Around that time, many businesses had yet to be GDPR-compliant.

The EU government hopes that businesses benefit in the long run by having a common GDPR law for all the states. It'll make it easier for companies to operate within the European borders, which will also help create business opportunities and encourage innovations within the region.

What Are Penalties For GDPR Non-Compliance?

The price for failing to comply or violating the GDPR is quite steep. Article 83 states that the offender can be fined in one of two increments. In Paragraph 4 under said Article, the offender can be fined up to 10 million euros or 2% of the annual revenue, whichever is higher, for violations of Articles 8, 11, 25 to 39, and 41 to 43.

In Paragraph 5, the offender can be fined up to 20 million euros or 4% of the annual revenue, whichever is higher, for violations of Articles 5 to 7, 9, 12 to 22, 44 to 49, 58, and all Articles under Chapter 9.

Takeaway

The main aim of GDPR is to protect EU citizens' data. To ensure you're on the safe side, you must only collect the data you need. If you know you're not going to use certain customers' data, it would be important not to ask for it. And if you're going to use it, be sure to tell your customers why you need their information. This will help build loyalty with your customers.

A company that values customer's privacy builds deeper trust with the customers. The above are the GDPR compliance basics every business or organization transacting with EU citizens must know.



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