The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has undoubtedly revolutionized the way organizations handle personal data and protect individual privacy. Since its implementation in 2018, this European Union regulation has set a new standard for data protection, impacting businesses across the globe. However, as with any complex legal framework, understanding and adhering to the GDPR’s requirements can be challenging. Unfortunately, many companies unintentionally fall into common pitfalls, exposing themselves to the risk of substantial fines and reputational damage. In this article, we explore some of the most prevalent mistakes organizations make when it comes to GDPR compliance, aiming to raise awareness and provide guidance on how to avoid them. By learning from these errors, companies can enhance their data handling practices, ensure compliance, and maintain the trust of their customers.
- Inadequate record-keeping of processing activities: Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of processing activities is an ongoing requirement under the GDPR. Regularly review and update your Records of Processing Activities (ROPA) to ensure compliance.
- Tech/Software Companies as Processors: Even if your company acts as a Data Processor, you are still obligated to maintain records of all processing activities. It is crucial to fulfill your responsibilities as a Data Processor and document your processing activities accordingly.
- Applicability of fines to all businesses: Fines under the GDPR can be imposed on businesses of all sizes. Regardless of the scale of your operations, it is essential to understand and adhere to the GDPR requirements to avoid potential penalties. For examples of fines imposed in the EU, refer to the Enforcement Tracker website (https://www.enforcementtracker.com/).
- Careful selection of processors: Prior to entering into data processing agreements, conduct a GDPR due diligence on your processors. Seek assurances and regularly assess how Processors fulfill their obligations to ensure compliance with the GDPR.
- Employees as Data Subjects: Remember that your employees are also Data Subjects. It is crucial to handle and process their personal data in accordance with the GDPR, providing them with appropriate privacy protections and fulfilling their rights as Data Subjects.
- Software solutions and data transfers: Using software solutions, particularly if the software provider is located in a third country, may involve data transfers. In such cases, additional measures must be taken to ensure compliance with the GDPR’s requirements for cross-border data transfers.
- Compliant Email Marketing: When adding new email addresses to your newsletter distribution list, obtaining explicit consent from the verified owner is essential. Ensure that you have proper consent mechanisms in place to comply with the GDPR’s consent requirements.
- Protecting the DPO from conflicts of interest: It is advisable to avoid appointing individuals from departments such as Risk Management, Head of Compliance, or Internal Audit as your Data Protection Officer (DPO). DPOs should be registered with a competent authority, independent, and free from any conflicts of interest.
- GDPR compliance as an ongoing process: Simply hiring a legal consulting firm to draft the required documentation does not guarantee GDPR compliance. Establish a privacy team, appoint a qualified DPO, and implement a program or software solution that can help you continuously monitor and maintain compliance with the GDPR and other privacy regulations. Platforms like Enactia can assist you in achieving this effectively and cost-efficiently.
Enactia will help you ensure compliance with regulations such as the #gdpr, #ccpa, #difc, #adgm #ksapdpl and other privacy and cybersecurity laws and frameworks. It provides features and functionalities designed specifically to address the requirements of these regulations. For any inquiries, do reach out to our team.