Almost every business needs information about their customers–their personal details such as their contact information, web surfing behaviour, geolocation, residence, sometimes even healthcare and financial records. These pieces of information are highly private and there are legal regulations that protect the individuals who own them. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is an order imposed by the European Parliament and Council that protects personal and private data for individuals living in the European Union. Businesses are obligated to observe this, as there are consequences and repercussions if private information is mishandled.
To become GDPR compliant, businesses must handle and manage their data well and closely. A few points that can help you prepare to comply with GDPR are as follows:
#1. Mapping Data
Find out where all the personal information you ask your customers when doing with your business comes from. Map out where you obtain the information and where you use the data. Also, note where the data is kept and who has access to it–is it only you or your high-level employees? Or can the whole office access it?
#2. Keeping Data
Review the information you have–are there any information that you can delete or are all necessary for your company to achieve more success and handle your customers better? Clean up your data, delete and stop asking your customers for unnecessary information.
#3. Security Measures
Security is your number one priority in keeping all the private data you have about your customers. You should put security measures that guard against data hackers and breaches. Ensure that you have a backup plan just in case someone leaks the data and publishes it for the whole world to see. You are responsible for the private information entrusted to you and you are liable for any mishaps.
Legal documentation must be in place when you ask your customers for their private information, so review your privacy statements and disclosures. Change or adjust some statements that do not adhere to GDPR. Always remember that individuals need to give their consent when providing you with their personal information.
#5. Establishing Procedures
Individuals under the European Union are protected with 8 basic rights under the GDPR. Some of the basic rights are the right to have access–which allows them to ask how the information benefits your company and how it is used, their information has to be deleted once they stop being your customers, and they have the right to object and restrict use or processing. This means that you need to put policies in place when handling situations under these basic rights. Of course, you must observe them and let them know about their rights as an individual.
With these few steps to take, your business would definitely be ready to get GDPR compliant. For more reading, there is some excellent resources such as Bridewell Consulting that offer more information on how to comply with GDPR. It is always better to be prepared and safe than to violate laws and regulations that can get your business, no matter how big or small, into trouble.