Even if your company operates outside the European Union, you have likely heard of the General Data Protection Regulation. It is the toughest security and privacy law in the world. The regulation is transforming how organizations of every sector must handle personal data, enabling consumers to be in the driving seat regarding how their data is collected and used. Understanding GDPR Compliance The new regulation came into effect in 2018. Businesses who violate the privacy and security standards of the GDPR can face hefty penalties, which could be as much as tens of millions of euros. So, you must understand and follow GDPR compliance. 1. The GDPR can Impact Businesses outside of the European Union Many businesses outside of the EU still do not fully understand whether they are responsible for GDPR compliance. If your organization provides products or services to EU citizens or monitors EU citizens’ data behavior, you are legally responsible for complying with the GDPR. So, GDPR does not only apply to businesses within the EU. To help ensure you maintain compliance with the GDPR, it is a good idea to use a GDPR help desk. 2. GDPR Requirements Apply to all kinds of Personal Data You need to be aware that GDPR requirements govern nearly every data point that a business typically collects. In addition to covering consumers' data, GDPR includes data that is routinely requested by websites, like email addresses, device data, cookie data, and IP addresses. Personal data that is covered includes a wide range of things, including data about a person’s health, race, sexual orientation, political opinions, and basic identity information like a person’s name and address. 3. You must know The Rights that individuals have regarding their personal data and data privacy To be GDPR compliant, you must know what the GDPR lists as the eight fundamental rights that all individuals have regarding their data and data privacy. They are: \tThe right to access personal data and find out how it is used, processed, stored, and shared. \tThe right to be informed about data gathering and processing means individuals must give free consent. \tThe right to data portability means individuals are free to transfer their data to another service provider at any time. \tThe right to withdraw consent to use personal data and delete data that has been collected. \tThe right to object to and stop the use or processing of data. \tThe right to restrict processing means individuals can request specific data processing is stopped. \tThe right to be notified in the event of personal data breaches that compromise the personal data. Those affected must be informed within seventy-two hours from when the organization learns about the breach. \tThe right to rectification means individuals can request organizations complete, correct, or update their data. 4. Cloud Storage is not Exempt from the GDPR Your business probably uses cloud storage for many purposes. If you use the cloud to store your house data, do not assume the cloud provider is always responsible for GDPR compliance. Even when the cloud provider is responsible, it does not mean the provider necessarily follows regulations. So, when using the cloud for personal data storage, ensure the cloud provider and the systems you use for integration abide by GDPR requirements. 5. You could have to Designate a Representative in the EU Suppose your business is outside of the EU and processes the personal data of EU residents but does not have a presence in the EU. In that case, your organization will probably be legally obliged to designate a representative in the EU. You will have to comply if your business sells products online to EU-based customers or if your website simply has visitors from the EU. You need to have a designated representative in place to maintain compliance with record processing and stay in contact with the relevant supervisory authorities. If placing a representative in Europe sounds challenging, you always have the option to go with a GDPR Representative as a Service. That means you pay a fee to a company in your own country in return for one of the company’s EU representatives to act on behalf of your company. The representative can be listed as your EU contact to satisfy the GDPR requirements. 6. You cannot Hide behind Clever Jargon If you think you can hide terms and conditions away so that you can use personal data with people’s consent without them realizing it, you need to think again. Just because most people do not read the fine print of online data privacy policies, it does not mean you are allowed to design your consent forms and policy information in a way that misleads people or makes it difficult for them to understand what their rights are. The GDPR requires all businesses to clearly define their data privacy policies and ensure they are easily accessible and understandable. 7. You could need to Hire a Data Protection Officer Suppose your organization is engaged in large-scale and systematic monitoring of user data or processes large volumes of personal data. In that case, you could be legally required to hire a data protection officer. The officer’s duties include being responsible for overseeing your data protection strategy. They will also monitor your data storage and data transfer processes, respond to data subject access requests, implement policies to make sure your business follows all GDPR requirements, educate and train members of staff about GDPR compliance, and serve as a point of contact between your business and the supervisory authorities in charge of GDPR compliance. Summing Up If your business provides products or services to EU residents or monitors EU citizens’ data behavior, you must comply with GDPR requirements. You should spend time familiarizing yourself with compliance issues first-hand, as well as hiring an experienced professional who can act as your company’s data protection officer to ensure your business always follows the GDPR. You could face enormous fines and even see your business collapse if you do not. Further Reading \t What is Field Sales Recruitment Agency and Why Do Businesses Need Them? \t Why did the Google fined in Europe 2.4 Billion Euros? \t Which HR Processes Should you Automate First in 2021?