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The rise of cybercrime has led to the increasing need for protecting data from these criminals. Countries all over the world are working incessantly towards finding a lasting solution to cybercrime. In this regard, the EU has enacted a new directive, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which governs member countries on data protection. These regulations also promote privacy for persons in the European Union and address export of data from outside the European Union. The main aim of these regulations is to give power to individuals over their data, thus to ensure the protection of personal data to the extent agreeable to individuals. Adopted in 2016, the deadline for compliance with this regulation is 25th May 2018.
Various organizations dealing with data are hurriedly working to comply. To date, there may be as many as 90% of these organizations that are just not ready. In fact, a majority of these organizations have not put in place the required protocols to ensure the smooth transition into compliance.
What you need to know about GDPR
These regulations apply, basically, to all organizations which have access to the internet and which provide data services to members of the European Union. It also applies to persons and organizations that reside outside the European Union if they collect and process the personal data of those residing within the European Union.
What this means in simple terms is that if someone from a European Union nation visits your website and fills out the contact form, then you must follow these regulations when processing their personal information.
Member States of the European Union are also required, pursuant to these rules to establish an independent supervisory authority, which will be mandated to hear and investigate complaints and to sanction administrative offenses.
In accordance with these regulations, in certain circumstances, data can be lawfully processed. Lawful processing of data occurs when:
- An individual has given consent to have their personal data processed for one or more specific reasons.
- Processing of data must be done in order to fulfill a contract or in circumstances where the data must be processed before a contract can be entered into.
- There is a legal obligation to process the data.
- Processing must be carried out in order to protect the interests of a person or entity.
- Processing must be carried out in order to protect public interests or the official authority vested in the controller.
- Processing is necessary to achieve the fundamental rights and freedoms of an individual, especially a child.
Requirements for compliance
In requiring compliance with the GDPR, large corporations are the main targets. This does not, however, mean that small businesses that deal with and process data can easily get away with non-compliance.
To ensure the implementation of these regulations, rather severe penalties have been adopted. With such significant penalties, businesses should work hard to be in full compliance.
Compliance and business size
The bulk of businesses which will be affected by these regulations are the big corporations that process a great deal of information each day. Though small businesses must also comply, they are not seen as primary targets or at as much risk of having to pay the penalties for non-compliance. Small businesses should not be too comfortable as to wait for the deadline before beginning the process since compliance may be somewhat complicated, especially when it comes to putting in place the necessary protocols for compliance. Though some experts see large organizations more as targets for GDPR watch groups, small businesses can also be fined for non-compliance.
Before one can attempt to comply with these regulations, one must completely understand them. People affected by these regulations are required to understand their scope and particularly, the type of data protected. The data covered includes identity, web, health and genetic info, biometric data, mental, cultural, economic, and social and political identities.
Goal of GDPR
Over the years, and with the advancement in technology, the need for data protection has increased. Cybercriminals are constantly creating new ways of breaching confidentiality and stealing and manipulating data. Affected countries are therefore put to task to ensure that these practices are prevented. This is the goal of the GDPR. Its main purpose is to protect the data of individuals. This need was advanced by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Following the revelations of this group, the need to protect data became much more real. Lack of appropriate measures ensuring cybersecurity can have dire effects to individuals and to nations.
With the deadline for compliance already passed, it is important that all those affected by these regulations do comply. These regulations are meant to protect individuals, businesses, organization, and even governments from cyber theft and data manipulation. Having considered the penalties for non-compliance, it is imperative that organizations avoid the last minute rush and put in place measures now to ensure their full compliance.