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August 10, 2018

How a GDPR Compliance Checklist Helps You Cope With the Law

It doesn’t matter if you are a senior manager, business owner or recruited external operator. If you are assigned to manage GDPR compliance, then it’s your responsibility to make sure that your company meets the requirements necessary to comply with this new law. The best way to sync all activities is by creating a checklist. To-do lists or checklists prove to be a useful tool for scheduling tasks and completing them on time.

They help you not to skip even a step of a process or forgo any important information. Moreover, using a checklist, you can ensure that you fulfill necessary criteria required by the General Data Protection Regulation law. 

What tasks to put on your checklist? 

In order to comply with GDPR law, you need to complete four phases of compliance. These phases start with ascertaining your data requirements and finish at creating well-designed documents for communicating with customers or users of your services. 

The four phases are as follows:

1. Assess your requirements 

First of all, you need to make a thorough assessment of different aspects of data processing. You can consider what type of data you want to collect and for what use and so on. Following are some points you may consider:

  • Type of personal data you want to collect.
  • Do you have the necessary consents required to take the desired personal information from your customers or users? 
  • Do you provide complete information to your users and customers about the purpose of data usage? Do you inform them about their right to opt-out of their consent anytime? 
  • Do you make sure that the info isn’t stored longer than necessary and that it’s accurate & up-to-date?  
  • Have you employed enough security measures, like encryption, necessary to safeguard the data. Is the data accessed to use for the intended purposes only?
  • Do you deal with any special type of data such as children’s data, sensitive financial data, biometric data, etc.? 
  • Is the data transferred to third-party inside or outside of the EU, if so, do you have adequate safety arrangements?

These are some questions that you will ask yourself before proceeding to the next step. Make sure you answer all the questions. 

2. GDPR compliant projects

These are some points that you should keep in mind when planning your GDPR strategy for your projects: 

  • Do you have plan to make you compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation?
  • Make sure that you have enough budget to move forward with your plan. 
  • Do you need a Data Privacy Impact Assessment?
  • Determine whether you need to hire a Data Protection Officer. 
  • When creating your services, did you implement the policy of “Data Protection by Design and Default,” to assess the impact of your services on individuals’ privacy?  
  • Did you consider how you will handle employee data in the plan or project?   

3. Controls and procedures 

The points below will help you understand what you need to do in regard to data handling and controlling. You should have appropriate methods in place to process requests from your users or customers about their data, such as deletion, removal or access requests. 

  • Make sure that your security team knows its obligation under GDPR law as well as has adequate resources to implement any changes or new processes, if required. 
  • Ascertain whether you have a simple & proper procedure in place for users or customers to complete their requests for accessing, deleting or modifying data. Does the procedure comply with the new law? 
  • Ensure that your staff is completely aware of every aspect of EU data privacy so that they can manage the data in a compliant manner. 
  • Do you review and audit data stored in repositories on a regular basis?

4. Documenting data security policies and methods

You need to prepare documents which show that you comply with the new data protection legislation. The following points show how you can do this: 

  • Privacy Policy is the document where you define your policies of data processing. Check whether it is updated to meet the GDPR guidelines. 
  • Have you defined the retention policy for all types of data you process and does it comply with the new regulation?
  • Have you appropriately documented internal procedures? 
  • If you are a data processor, then make sure that you have updated contracts with the concerned data controller. Ensure that the contract contains the necessary clauses. 
  • If any third-party is employed to process data on your behalf, ensure that the contract with them is updated to meet the requirements of the law. 

Conclusion

The digital world is only safe when we understand our responsibilities and duties. Protecting personal information of users or customers when they use your online services is not only ethical, but it also makes us a reliable cyber entity. You should always take stringent measures to protect your users’ personal details from falling into the wrong hands. The General Data Protection Regulation has now compelled every organization to take the necessary steps in this regard. Accordingly, firms are now taking steps to become compliant with this new law.


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Tom Hardy has hands-on experience as a digital marketing consultant. He currently works at Sparx IT Solutions: GDPR Compliance Services Provider and offers exceptional website auditing services to prepare a business for GDPR readiness. Also, he writes informative blogs to let users know how important it is to comply with GDPR for websites to get better data security.

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