Since the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) in 2016, data protection has progressed from an afterthought to an important issue for any organisation that processes personal data. Since then, the United Kingdom has left the European Union, which means that any firm processing personal data of UK citizens must now comply with the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Data protection laws attempt to offer individuals more control over their personal data by providing them a variety of rights, including the right to be informed about how organisations use their data, to view the data being processed about them, and, in certain cases, to have it destroyed.
Data protection regulations also attempt to guarantee that corporations secure the personal data that they process appropriately. In addition to the aforementioned rights of persons, the UK GDPR and DPA place stricter limits and duties on their use of personal data. These guidelines are based on seven essential principles:
- Legality, fairness, and transparency
- Limitation of purpose
- Data reduction
- Limitation on Accuracy Storage
- Integrity and delicacy
The eighth Accountability principle gets to the heart of data protection law. This puts the onus on each firm not just to comply with the regulations, but also, and most importantly, to demonstrate compliance. Although showing compliance with these principles would almost certainly require significant time and financial effort, the cost of non-compliance will almost certainly be far more difficult to stomach.
The cost of non-compliance
The GDPR in the United Kingdom has a possibly two schemes. For a less significant violation of the UK GDPR, you may face a punishment of up to €10 million or 2% of your annual revenue. For a more egregious offence, the fine is doubled to €20 million, or 4% of annual turnover. Fines for data breaches are on the upper end of the scale; nevertheless, extra expenses may be incurred by post-breach remediation and litigation if the data subjects affected cannot be reached.
Failure to comply might also earn your company a reputation for mishandling its clients’ personal information, which can be difficult to overcome. Businesses, on the other hand, can improve their reputation as a firm that protects the personal data of its employees/clients/customers, as well as avoid any enforcement proceedings or penalties, by complying.
So, what does all this mean for your business?
You should be aware of the following at a minimum:
- Mapping Of Data
Before you can develop an effective data security plan, you must first understand what types of personal data you handle, why you need the data, who has access to it, and how long you retain it. A data discovery will allow you to examine how you process personal data across your organisation, allowing you to uncover risk areas that you can then control.
- Data Breach Reporting
Data breaches that are serious enough to warrant reporting to the Information Commissioner’s Office (the UK’s data protection supervisory authority) must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (the UK’s data protection supervisory authority) within 72 hours of becoming aware of them, according to the UK GDPR. Because this timeline does not alter on weekends or holidays, having an effective breach reporting mechanism in place is critical. It is also critical that all workers are trained to understand what a breach is and where to report it.
- Data Subject Rights
Companies have one calendar month from the moment valid rights requests are received to fulfil them, therefore it is critical that you have a clear procedure in place for dealing with these quickly.
The UK GDPR makes data controllers and processors jointly and severally accountable for any noncompliance, which means that if you send personal data to a third-party processor as a controller, you are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the legislation.
In essence, the GDPR requires companies to be transparent and honest so that individuals are better informed, as well as to give them more control over what happens to their personal data. This is dependent on organisations taking the required procedures to ensure compliance with the rule.