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General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR

General Data Protection Regulations

Everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR represents a significant overhaul of data protection laws in the European Union (EU). It was implemented on May 25, 2018, to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe and to protect EU citizens’ data privacy. It not only applies to organizations located within the EU but also to those outside the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU data subjects. Here’s everything you need to know about GDPR:

1. Scope and Applicability

GDPR applies to all organizations operating within the EU and outside the EU that offer goods or services to individuals in the EU or monitor their behavior. It covers both controllers and processors of data, meaning organizations that collect data from EU residents and those that process data on behalf of other businesses must comply.

2. Principles of GDPR

The regulation is built around several key principles:

  • Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency: Processing must be lawful, fair, and transparent to the data subject.
  • Purpose limitation: Data must be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes.
  • Data minimization: Only data that is necessary for the purposes of processing is collected.
  • Accuracy: Personal data must be accurate and kept up to date.
  • Storage limitation: Personal data should be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than necessary.
  • Integrity and confidentiality: Processing must be done in a manner that ensures appropriate security.
  • Accountability: The controller is responsible for, and must be able to demonstrate, compliance with the other principles.

3. Rights of Individuals

GDPR enhances the protection of EU citizens’ personal data and increases the obligations on organizations who collect or process personal data. These rights include:

  • The right to be informed: Individuals have the right to know how their data is being used.
  • The right of access: Individuals can request access to their personal data.
  • The right to rectification: Individuals can have inaccurate personal data corrected.
  • The right to erasure: Also known as the “right to be forgotten,” this allows individuals to have their data deleted.
  • The right to restrict processing: Individuals can request that their data is not used for processing.
  • The right to data portability: Individuals can request a copy of their data in a machine-readable format.
  • The right to object: Individuals can object to the use of their data for specific purposes.
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling: Individuals have the right to not be subject to decisions based solely on automated processing.

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4. Data Breach Notification

Under GDPR, organizations must notify the appropriate data protection authorities of a data breach within 72 hours of becoming aware of it, if it is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. If the breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, those individuals must be notified directly.

5. Penalties for Non-Compliance

GDPR imposes stiff penalties on organizations that fail to comply with its requirements. Fines can reach up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s global annual turnover of the previous financial year, whichever is higher.

6. Data Protection Officers (DPO)

Organizations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) if they process or store large amounts of EU citizen data, process or store special categories of data, regularly monitor data subjects, or are a public authority. The DPO is responsible for overseeing data protection strategy and implementation to ensure compliance with GDPR requirements.

7. International Data Transfers

GDPR restricts data transfers to countries outside the EU to ensure that the level of protection of individuals afforded by the GDPR is not undermined. Transfers may only occur under certain conditions, such as when the Commission has determined that a non-EU country ensures an adequate level of data protection or through the use of standard contractual clauses or binding corporate rules.

8. Impact on Businesses

Businesses must ensure they are fully compliant with GDPR. This involves revising data protection policies, implementing stronger data security measures, ensuring consent is freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous, and training staff on compliance requirements.

GDPR represents a shift towards greater accountability and transparency in data processing, requiring organizations to adopt comprehensive data protection measures. Compliance is not only about avoiding fines but also about building trust with customers by safeguarding their personal data.

What is General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR compliance?

GDPR compliance refers to the process of ensuring that an organization’s handling of personal data meets the requirements set out by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is a comprehensive data protection law that imposes strict rules on the collection, processing, and management of personal data of individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also applies to organizations outside these regions if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU and EEA residents. Achieving GDPR compliance involves several key components and steps:

Understanding General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR requirements

The first step towards GDPR compliance is understanding the regulation’s requirements, which include principles like data minimization, consent, data subject rights, and the lawful basis for processing data. Organizations must be aware of their responsibilities as either data controllers or processors and ensure that all personal data is handled according to GDPR principles.

Data Protection Measures

Organizations must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure and demonstrate that data processing is performed in compliance with GDPR. This includes ensuring data security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Measures may include data encryption, anonymization, and regular cybersecurity assessments.

Data Processing Agreements

When data processing is outsourced to third parties, GDPR requires that contracts or data processing agreements are in place to ensure that these third parties process personal data in accordance with GDPR requirements.

Consent Management

For many types of data processing, GDPR requires explicit consent from data subjects. Organizations must ensure that consent is freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous. They must also provide easy options for individuals to withdraw consent at any time.

Data Subject Rights

GDPR grants individuals several rights regarding their personal data, including the right to access, rectify, erase, restrict processing, data portability, object, and rights related to automated decision-making and profiling. Organizations must have processes in place to promptly respond to data subject requests exercising these rights.

Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Certain organizations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to oversee data protection strategies and ensure compliance with GDPR. The DPO serves as a point of contact for supervisory authorities and individuals whose data is processed.

Data Breach Notification

GDPR mandates that data breaches likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals must be reported to the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of the organization becoming aware of it. If the breach poses a high risk to individuals’ rights and freedoms, those individuals must also be notified without undue delay.

Training and Awareness

Ensuring that staff are aware of GDPR requirements and their responsibilities regarding data protection is crucial for compliance. Regular training and awareness programs should be implemented to keep data protection at the forefront of organizational practices.

Documentation and Record-Keeping

Organizations must keep detailed records of data processing activities, including the purpose of processing, data categories, data recipient categories, and data retention periods. This documentation is essential for demonstrating compliance with GDPR.

Regular Audits and Assessments

To maintain GDPR compliance, organizations should conduct regular audits and assessments of their data processing activities and data protection measures. This helps identify and rectify any compliance gaps and ensures ongoing adherence to GDPR requirements.

Achieving and maintaining GDPR compliance is an ongoing process that requires a comprehensive understanding of the regulation, a commitment to data protection principles, and the implementation of effective data management and security practices. Compliance not only helps avoid significant fines and legal repercussions but also builds trust with customers and stakeholders by demonstrating a commitment to protecting personal data.

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General Data Protection Regulations

What’s the GDPR compliance deadline?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance deadline was May 25, 2018. This was the date by which organizations had to ensure that their data processing activities were in compliance with the new regulation. Since its implementation, GDPR has been in full effect, and organizations that handle personal data of individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) are required to comply with its provisions.

For organizations that are newly established or those that have not yet achieved compliance, it’s crucial to understand that GDPR is an ongoing regulatory requirement. This means that compliance is not just about meeting a one-time deadline but involves continuous adherence to the regulation’s principles, including data protection, individual rights, and reporting and accountability obligations.

If your organization is still working towards compliance or if you’re starting a new project or business that will handle personal data of EU and EEA citizens, it’s important to prioritize GDPR compliance immediately to avoid potential fines and penalties, as well as to build trust with your customers and users by demonstrating a commitment to data privacy and security.

What is a GDPR breach notification?

A GDPR breach notification is a requirement under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that mandates organizations to report certain types of personal data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority. In some cases, they must also communicate these breaches to the individuals affected by them. This requirement is part of the GDPR’s broader effort to enhance the protection of personal data and ensure transparency in the handling of such data.

When to Notify

A data breach under the GDPR is defined as a security incident that leads to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored, or otherwise processed. Not all data breaches require notification, but any breach that is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals does.

Notification to Supervisory Authority

Organizations must notify the appropriate supervisory authority of a data breach within 72 hours of becoming aware of it, unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons. This notification must include, as far as possible:

  • The nature of the personal data breach including, where possible, the categories and approximate number of individuals concerned and the categories and approximate number of personal data records concerned.
  • The name and contact details of the data protection officer (DPO) or another contact point where more information can be obtained.
  • A description of the likely consequences of the personal data breach.
  • A description of the measures taken or proposed to be taken by the controller to address the personal data breach, including, where appropriate, measures to mitigate its possible adverse effects.

If it is not possible to provide all this information at once, the GDPR allows the information to be provided in phases without undue further delay.

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Notification to Data Subjects– General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR

When the data breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the organization must also communicate the breach directly to the affected individuals without undue delay. This communication must be in clear and plain language and contain information similar to what is provided to the supervisory authority, including the nature of the breach and recommendations for the individual concerned to mitigate potential adverse effects.


There are exceptions to the requirement to notify the affected individuals if certain conditions are met, such as:

  • The controller has implemented appropriate technical and organizational protection measures, and those measures were applied to the data affected by the data breach (e.g., encryption).
  • The controller has taken subsequent measures which ensure that the high risk to the rights and freedoms of data subjects is no longer likely to materialize.
  • It would involve disproportionate effort. In such a case, there should be a public communication or similar measure whereby the data subjects are informed in an equally effective manner.

Importance of Compliance

Compliance with the GDPR’s breach notification requirement is critical. Failure to comply can result in significant fines, up to €10 million or 2% of the company’s global annual turnover of the previous financial year, whichever is higher. Beyond the financial penalties, non-compliance can also damage an organization’s reputation and erode trust among its customers and partners.

What are the 7 principles of General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR is built around seven key principles that lie at the heart of the approach to processing personal data. These principles are set out in Article 5 of the GDPR, and they provide the foundation upon which the regulation operates, ensuring that personal data is processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently, without adversely affecting the individual’s rights. The seven principles are:

1. Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency

  • Lawfulness means that all personal data processing must have a legal basis, such as consent, contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task, or legitimate interests.
  • Fairness means processing in a way that is fair to the individual and does not unjustly affect their rights.
  • Transparency requires that individuals are informed about how their data is being used, by whom, and for what purpose, in a clear and understandable way.

2. Purpose Limitation

Data collected for specific purposes should not be used for anything other than those initially stated or other closely related purposes. Organizations must clearly specify these purposes at the time of data collection and stick to them.

3. Data Minimization

Organizations should only collect and process the minimum amount of personal data necessary for the specified purpose. This principle aims to protect individuals from excessive data collection and processing, ensuring that only relevant data is handled.

4. Accuracy

Personal data must be accurate and kept up to date. Inaccurate data should be corrected or deleted without delay. This principle ensures that decisions based on personal data are made using the most current and correct information available.

5. Storage Limitation

Personal data should not be kept in a form that allows identification of data subjects for longer than necessary for the purposes for which the data were collected or for which they are further processed. This means that organizations need to implement policies and procedures for data retention and deletion.

6. Integrity and Confidentiality (Security)

Personal data must be processed in a manner that ensures its security, including protection against unauthorized or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction, or damage. This involves using appropriate technical or organizational measures to safeguard personal data.

7. Accountability

The data controller is responsible for, and must be able to demonstrate, compliance with the other six principles. This means implementing internal policies, procedures, and records to show how compliance with GDPR is achieved, including the effectiveness of data protection measures.

These principles are the cornerstone of GDPR compliance. Adhering to them helps ensure that organizations respect and protect individuals’ rights in relation to their personal data. Non-compliance with these principles can lead to significant fines and damage to an organization’s reputation.

Pacific Certifications is accredited by ABIS, in case you need support with General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR implementation for your business please contact us at suppport@pacificcert.com or +91-8595603096.

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