General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

What is GDPR?

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive set of rules designed to enhance personal data protection, established by the European Union in 2016.

The full name of the regulation is: Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation).

GDPR lays down specific requirements for businesses and organizations on collecting, storing, and managing personal data. It applies both to organizations within the EU processing personal data of individuals and to those outside the EU processing data of EU residents.

Why was GDPR introduced?

GDPR was introduced to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, particularly their right to personal data protection. It emerged in response to the growing need to protect the data of digital technology, internet, and social media users. Uniform legislation across EU member states ensures an equal level of data protection, transparency, and facilitates the pursuit of justice in the event of data security breaches.

GDPR requirements

According to Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation, personal data must be:

  • Processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently;
  • Collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;
  • Adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
  • Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date or corrected;
  • Stored in a form that allows identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed;
  • Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of personal data, including protection against unauthorized or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction, or damage.

Personal data may be stored for longer periods for archiving, statistical, or research purposes, provided they are adequately protected. Every data controller in an organization, responsible for compliance, must also be able to demonstrate compliance, provide accurate information about data status, and document user consents. In case consent is withdrawn or expires, the controller is responsible for deleting the data from the organization's resources.

Challenges GDPR poses for businesses

Some key challenges GDPR presents for businesses include:

  • Obtaining clear, informed, and explicit consent for processing personal data of clients, employees, candidates, or users, with an easy option to withdraw consent;
  • Developing effective methods for identifying and deleting data from all systems, along with rights for data access, rectification, or processing restrictions;
  • Implementing data protection measures from the design stage and by default to ensure a high level of protection, such as establishing procedures for responding to security incidents;
  • Ensuring an adequate level of data protection when transferring data outside the EU;
  • Appointing Data Protection Officers if regular or systematic monitoring of individuals is carried out, or if processing sensitive data categories or data on a large scale.
  • Continuously monitoring, evaluating, and updating data protection practices to maintain compliance with GDPR.

To meet these challenges, organizations should:

  1. Take a comprehensive approach and reorganize their processes in accordance with the regulations;
  2. Implement appropriate data security policies and appoint a data protection officer if necessary;
  3. Utilize tools that ensure regulatory compliance, such as selecting an HR platform with the appropriate functionalities or software that enables encryption and data anonymization;
  4. Educate their employees on the importance of personal data protection and compliance with GDPR in daily operations.

Summary: General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation represents a milestone in privacy protection, offering rigorous provisions that ensure a high level of security, increasing transparency in corporate actions, and providing individuals with greater control over their data.

Organizations that comply with its provisions can enhance their reputation, as data security is a trait that builds trust between a company and its clients, employees, and candidates.

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