GDPR: What it means for you

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. Essentially, GDPR compliance refers to a company's ability to handle personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation's established standards.

The GDPR establishes certain requirements that businesses must adhere to that restrict how personal data may be handled. Additionally, it outlines eight rights for data subjects that offer some protections for people's private information, giving people more control over their personal information and how it is used in the long run

In this article, we’re going to shed more light on GDPR to help you understand why being GDPR compliant might be beneficial to your organisation.

Let’s get right into it.

The GDPR explained

The GDPR is the most rigorous privacy law currently in place. It is a framework established by the European Union (EU) to control how businesses gather, manage and safeguard the personal data of EU citizens.

The three main objectives of the GDPR are as follows:

  • Establish and uphold each person's fundamental right to privacy.
  • By eradicating the regulations of the 28 separate EU member states and the prior 1995 Data Protection Directive, the EU may unify its privacy laws.
  • Change privacy legislation to account for the impact that the technological environment has had over the past 25 years on personal data.

Does the GDPR apply to your organisation?

Even if you aren't situated in the EU, the GDPR still applies to you if you have users, subscribers or visitors from the EU. If you are handling user information through plugins, analytics, commenting systems, contact forms, etc, the GDPR applies to you.

The GDPR, for instance, is applicable to a US online store that draws consumers from the EU and sells them products there. The provision of goods and services may be free or complimentary.

The GDPR is applicable to you if you have an email list because you are gathering, processing, and storing the email addresses of your subscribers and/or your email marketing service provider is doing so on your behalf. You might not have seen this one coming, but you are still most likely to handle personal data on your blog or online company even if you don't have an email list. Therefore, the GDPR is applicable to you too.

What do you need to do to be GDPR compliant?

  • Get in touch with an organisation that can offer you solutions to operationalise your privacy, security, and governance programs, giving you the tools you need to build a holistic GDPR compliance program, such as OneTrust.
  • Get some plugins, such as the GDPR plugin or the GDPR Framework plugin, and start getting acquainted with the requirements. Remember that even if you install a plugin, you still need to understand what you must do in order to comply with the GDPR and complete the boxes, fields and forms appropriately.
  • Add a Privacy Policy to your website.
  • Get an SSL certificate for your website, if you don't already have one (essentially, change http to https), to make it more secure.
  • Consult with a lawyer, if necessary.

Many additional requirements under the GDPR are applicable to bloggers and online business owners. Among them are:

  • The procedures for legally obtaining consent
  • Disclosure of data collection, storage, and processing practises
  • A number of user and subscriber rights that must be ensured

Consent

First and foremost, consent needs to be freely provided, detailed, informed and clear.

When consent is granted as part of a written declaration that also addresses other issues, the request should:

  • Be presented in a clear and accessible manner
  • Make use of simple, clear language

Additionally, you must disclose full information on numerous aspects of the processing of personal data you're carrying out at the time the personal data are obtained, such as (but not limited to):

  • Contact information for you and your representation in the EU (where applicable)
  • The DPO's contact information (where applicable)
  • The reason for and grounds for processing personal data
  • How long their personal information will be kept
  • Whether you intend to share their personal information with outside parties
  • The right to withdraw consent at any time
  • The right to bring a grievance before a supervisory authority

Single opt-in & double opt-in

The use of a single opt-in procedure with a GDPR compliant form is still a legal means of obtaining consent.

A double opt-in, on the other hand, is not necessarily a need to legitimately gain permission under the GDPR.

However, in accordance with the GDPR, you must also be able to prove that you have secured consent for the processing operation.

Therefore, in order to maintain proof of consent, we advise activating a double opt-in. You must demonstrate that the individual has given their approval for you to process their personal data for that particular purpose and you can do so by maintaining the digital trail of the double opt-in procedure where users, subscribers, and customers have verified their consent.

What happens if you don’t or partially comply with the GDPR?

  • It's illegal
  • You may incur fines
  • Users may complain to you and take legal action against you.
  • You might lose customers, visitors, and sponsored opportunity
  • You might seem spammy
  • You might need to put forth double the effort to comply.

GDPR terminology you might need to know

Data Subject: Any person with a legal address in the EU whose data is obtained, stored, or processed by a controller or processor is referred to as a data subject.

Data Controller: A data controller is the person or organisation in charge of deciding the reason for and the legal justification for processing personal data.

Data Processor: The person in charge of handling personal data processing on behalf of the controller is referred to as a data processor, and they work together with the data controller.

Processing: Any automatic or manual activity or set of activities carried out on a personal data set or set of personal data is referred to as processing. This includes gathering, recording, organising, structuring, storing, adapting or altering, retrieving, and so forth.

Personal Data: Any information about a natural person (referred to as a "data subject") that relates to their personal, professional, or public life and can be used to directly or indirectly identify that person is referred to as personal data. Examples include a name, email address, photos, or even bank statements.

Obtaining the consent of the data subject: A "freely given, precise, informed, and unequivocal indication" that the data subject accepts to the processing of their personal information is referred to as "obtaining the consent of the data subject." Both statements and explicit affirmative actions are acceptable forms of consent from data subjects.

Key takeaways

Consider broadening your knowledge by enrolling in a reputable course or finding other dependable sources online if you want to understand this broad topic completely. You'll have peace of mind while doing it, and you'll also save loads of money and time that could be better used to expand your business.

Good luck with your compliance efforts and feel free to ask any questions you may have concerning the GDPR in the comments section.

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