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UNDERSTANDING GDPR ( PART 3)

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GDPR Regulation part III:

Data Breaches

We tend to think of “data breach” in rigid terms connoting the theft of confidential information from within the confines of an otherwise guarded data security system. With the GDPR regulation, however, a data breach does not begin or end at theft but instead is defined much more broadly. It can include accidental or illegal destruction, loss, change, unauthorized access to or disclosure of personal data whether processed or archived. Once a breach occurs, controllers must notify the supervisory authority without “undue delay” or inside of 72 hours. This deadline holds true whether the breach was discovered by the processor or by the controller, although it is the controller’s responsibility, not the processor’s, for notifying the supervisory authority.

Controllers must then notify the data subject that their data has been compromised, otherwise known as an individual notification. Despite the thoroughness of the GDPR’s overall coda, it does not mandate individual notifications if certain conditions have been met. These include:

Regarding that last condition, the entity or controller is still required to alert data subjects through public means.

The Right to Erasure

The right to erasure is EU parlance for the right to be forgotten, or the right for a data subject to have their personal data comprehensively deleted. A data subject may invoke their right to erasure under four primary scenarios:

  • The initial purpose for archiving the personal data no longer applies
  • The subject removes their consent
  • The subject requests erasure in the event of non-compliance with GDPR guidelines or breach of data security
  • Legal reasons

Data Minimization

Data minimization is one of the more important Privacy by Design/Default principles mandated by the GDPR, and as the name suggests, it’s all about minimizing the amount of data that is collected, processed, and archived. Controllers are duty-bound to gather only as much personal data as is needed to perform the required task and reserve said data exclusively for the task in question, i.e. no migrating personal data from Task A over to Task B unless the data subject has consented.

Keeping with similar principles laid out elsewhere in the GDPR, data minimization requires controllers to limit the processing of a subject’s personal data according to certain stipulations. More specifically, this means only data that is relevant, adequate, and necessary to the purpose for which it was originally collected. Anything beyond this violates the GDPR and opens the entity to fines.

Right to Rectification

Privacy by design/default may be at the heart of the GDPR as a whole, but part-and-parcel therein is the right of data subjects to contest the processing of inaccurate or incomplete data. They may do so by requesting that the controller in question rectify their associated data, whether correcting false information, filling in missing data, or amending data with a clarifying statement. Controllers must respond to such requests in a timely manner or no later than one month from receipt. 

Consequences for Failure To Comply

The consequences for failing to comply with the GDPR vary depending upon the transgression and can be divided between administrative fines and fines for breaches, whether a data breach or breach of consent, privacy, and the like. For failure to comply with administrative or preparedness standards, entities may be fined the greater of 2% annual global turnover or 10 million euros. Fines for breaches are double at 4% of annual turnover and 20 million euros, whichever is greater.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, the GDPR poses many new risks and challenges for data processing entities across the world who traffic in the personal data of EU residents. Perhaps even scarier is that the stress on collection, processing, and record keeping systems won’t be entirely calculable until after the regulation has actually gone into effect, leaving controllers and processors doing their best to tread water, so to speak, and avoid fines for non-compliance. The trade-off for successfully implementing the regulation, however, is worth it. Users’ personal data will be much less prone to abuse, translating to renewed confidence and trust on the part of data subjects, and greater engagement between all parties involved.

How can Lexidy help? 

At Lexidy we can help you asses your company’s situation regarding the GDPR and advise you on how to take the right measures to be compliant with the new regulations. Contact us and get a free consultation!


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