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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR, effective May 2018, is a EU regulation that standardises data protection laws across its member states, significantly impacting global data handling practices to enhance individual privacy.

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What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most significant regulations enacted by the European Union, coming into effect in May 2018. It aims to protect individual privacy and reshape how organizations across the region approach data privacy. GDPR introduces a set of standardized data protection laws across all EU countries, imposing strict rules on those hosting and processing data, anywhere in the world.entities and their ICT service providers.

Key Features of GDPR

The GDPR Regulation explores various facets of data privacy compliance: 

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Privacy Rights

Enhanced Individual Privacy Rights

GDPR significantly increases individuals' control over their personal data. It includes rights such as the right to access their data, the right to have incorrect data corrected, the right to have their data deleted (the right to be forgotten), the right to restrict processing of their data, and the right to data portability.

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Data Processing

Strict Data Processing and Consent Requirements

Under GDPR, firms must ensure that personal data is processed lawfully, transparently, and for a specific purpose. When personal data is collected, the individual must give explicit consent for its processing, and this consent can be withdrawn at any time.

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Data Breach

Mandatory Data Breach Notification

GDPR mandates that data breaches which may pose a risk to individuals must be notified to the supervisory authority within 72 hours of the organization becoming aware of it. If the breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, those individuals must be notified directly.

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Significant Fines for Non-Compliance

GDPR imposes severe penalties for non-compliance, which can reach up to €20 million or 4% of the company's global annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher, representing a substantial increase over previous penalties standards.

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Impact Assessments

Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)

GDPR requires organizations to conduct DPIAs where data processing operations are likely to result in high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. This involves systematically considering the potential impact that a project or initiative might have on the privacy of individuals and acting to mitigate that risk before processing.

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Designation of Data Protection Officers (DPOs)

The DPO's responsibilities include overseeing data protection strategy, providing advice on GDPR compliance, and acting as a point of contact for the supervisory authorities. The requirement applies to public authorities, firms that engage in large scale systematic monitoring, or companies that engage in large scale processing of sensitive data.

Implications of GDPR

Organizations are required to significantly adjust their data handling and processing practices to comply with GDPR. This includes implementing stronger data security measures, ensuring transparency in data processing, and enhancing individual rights over personal data.

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How Grand Helps

ach module in's GRC software suite is crucial for ensuring full compliance with the GDPR regulation, tackling specific aspects like data protection impact assessments, consent management, data breach notification procedures, and the management of third-party data processors.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Constitutes Personal Data under GDPR?

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), personal data is defined as any information related to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'). This may include their name, identification number, location data, online identifier or one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

The processing of personal data is allowed under certain conditions, such as when the data subject has given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes or the processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party.

Personal data can also be processed when necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another natural person. The GDPR also mandates data protection by design and default to ensure data minimisation and requirements on the security of processing.

How Should Consent be Collected and Managed?

Under GDPR, consent should be collected and managed in a way that respects the rights of the data subjects. Consent based data processing is limited to cases where personal data is processed based on consent under Article 6 (a) GDPR or on a contract pursuant to Article 6 (b) GDPR.

In addition, the GDPR requires data protection by design and by default, which ensures data minimisation and requirements on the security of processing related to the sharing of personal data. The data subject should have the right to receive their personal data held by a controller and transmit it to another controller, or have the data transmitted directly from one controller to another where technically feasible.

Tools such as consent management dashboards help to strengthen the control of individuals over their data. It's also important to note that there are variations in the definition of 'explicit consent' among stakeholders, which has led to different interpretations of data sharing requirements.

What are the Obligations Regarding Data Breach Notifications?

n the event of a data breach, organizations are required to notify affected parties without unreasonable delay. This obligation includes notifying federal agencies and the customers whose data was compromised. The notification should take place as soon as a breach is reasonably determined, and in no case should this exceed 30 days.

Previously, there was a mandatory waiting period for carriers to notify customers, but this has since been eliminated. The goal is to allow those affected to take necessary steps to protect themselves from any potential harm.

What Responsibilities Do Organizations Have When Transferring Data Outside the EU?

Organizations transferring data outside of the European Union are obliged to ensure compliance with certain principles. The transfer must be fair, lawful, and serve a specific purpose, which means the data should be used only for the purpose it was transferred and not for any incompatible uses.

In other words, companies must respect the principle of purpose limitation. Firms should also uphold data minimisation, ensuring only necessary data is transferred. It's crucial for organisations to understand and navigate these principles to avoid potential legal and regulatory issues.

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