In the past few decades, the conversation around privacy protection has significantly matured, ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the USA government’s illegal information acquisition of the US and foreign citizens. Public anxiety surrounding privacy infringement quickly became a leading issue in the global geopolitical landscape.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came out as a possible solution to protect the privacy of EU residents. This legislation tightened the grip around the personal information of the European data subjects, such as medical records, race, religion, sexual orientation, and/or data concerning past criminal history sheets, etc.
Scope and penalties of GDPR
GDPR’s official document lays down the scope of the regulations and penalties for non-compliance. It takes utmost care to point out the necessary GDPR guidelines to adhere to. Here we provide a summary of all the guidelines and regulations for your better understanding.
- GDPR does not discriminate between companies from the EU or outside.
- GDPR covers an EU data subject, i.e., an identifiable natural person in the EU. For example, GDPR covers both an American Tourist and an EU citizen in any EU country.
- GDPR applies to any entity that deals with user data of EU residents, irrespective of where the company location is.
- Non-compliance, such as not having the consent of the data subjects to process data or violating GDPR’s Privacy by Design concepts, imposes hefty fines and penalties.
- Non-compliance can lead to a company incurring up to 4% of annual global turnover from the preceding year or €20 Million, whichever is higher.
- The cloud-based companies are also subject to GDPR articles, that is, the rules apply to controllers and processors.
Privacy: A new basic human right
A mere look through the official GDPR document is enough to state that it takes privacy very seriously. In the GDPR document Article 8, the legislation compared data privacy with basic human rights. It has never been done before and intends to lay the groundwork for data privacy in this century. This approach to privacy shows a paradigm shift that GDPR intends to bring, to provide more power to the users in deciding if a company should use their data and how to use it.
Business impact on organizations
Data is the new oil. It is the new precious resource that superpowers fight for. It is particularly true for SaaS companies, as the right data and the ability to use it effectively enables companies to capture more revenue, provide competitive services, and improve the overall user experience across the product. This is why GDPR seems notorious legislation hindering a company’s business. But after inspecting closely, one may see that this presents an opportunity to organizations.
No organization would want to violate Human Rights by accessing or using user data without consent. GDPR nudges companies to fortify their data processing structures to ensure that data does not get leaked. These shifts will push companies to train their staff on the principles of Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default (Art. 25) and require transparency between controllers and processors in handling data.
GDPR is essential for companies looking to disrupt EU markets. Without the EU, even B2B companies operating in the EU won’t give you an audience as no company wants to associate with a third-party entity that’s data processing policies may be compromised. Thus, GDPR compliance is a certificate of assurance that boasts of your mature outlook toward privacy protection. This will also build a positive brand image of your company in the eyes of your target consumers. No other compliance standard positively impacts the company as GDPR; perhaps that is why it is the hardest to achieve.
Genesis of privacy-oriented industries
In a free market economy, regulatory changes are typically accompanied by solutions to navigate them actively. That is where infosec automation comes into the picture. Companies dedicated to ensuring that other companies meet the GDPR standards and become compliant will lead the way for the future of data privacy and information security. In contrast, there are several dozens of such companies that might pop up as a result of the GDPR rollout. There are a few factors that will help you determine their effectiveness.
- The company policies should be properly aligned with the industry standards.
- They must have key assessment tools, such as Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), to adequately document data processing records using a risk assessment-based approach.
- They must also adhere to IT compliance requirements. Data Mapping should be a key part of their services and other significant IT tools.
- Consistent monitoring of internal controls to detect vulnerabilities will eventually lead to the prevention of data breaches or non-compliance.
These mistakes or exceptions can occur at any stage; the only way any organisation can aim to control them is by following the right security protocols and ensuring that all their employees are clinically trained with the right information. Constant monitoring will help you assess any loopholes you may have in your security controls.
Scrut Automation is an innovative and radically simple governance, risk, and compliance automation platform for growing startups and mid-market enterprises. With Scrut, compliance teams can reduce ~70% of their manual effort in continuously maintaining compliance towards SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and CCPA. Schedule your demo today to see how it works.