How can GDPR eLearning help you comply with the new data privacy laws?
On 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect across all EU member states, radically changing the world of data privacy. Some businesses are struggling to wrap their head around the new laws and leaving themselves vulnerable in the process. Make no mistake; GDPR is a major shift in data legislation, one too important for you to ignore.
GDPR was created to harmonise data privacy laws across EU member states. It will also enhance the protection given to the personal data of EU citizens. Personal data refers to any information that can be used directly or indirectly to identify a person (or ‘Data Subject’). Photos, names, medical information, email addresses, bank details, IP addresses, social media posts; these are all considered personal data under GDPR.
This has huge implications for businesses and not just those based in the EU. GDPR applies to any business that offers goods and services to EU citizens or monitors their behaviour. So, if your business at any time holds the personal data of EU citizens, you will be affected.
How does GDPR affect businesses?
One of the biggest changes is how businesses will obtain the consent of data subjects to process their information. Companies will have to request consent in easy-to-understand language, avoiding overly technical language. They must also make it as easy for data subjects to withdraw consent as it is for them to give it.
• Consumers will also have the right to be forgotten. This means that a business must erase all personal data relating to a data subject if that subject requests it. The business also must stop all further processing of this data by either themselves or any third parties.
• For those under 13, parental permission will be required to process personal data for online services.
• If your organisation has large scale monitoring, processes sensitive data on a large scale or is a public authority, you’ll need to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO).
These changes are serious and organisations that don’t comply with the new regulation will face steep fines. These can be up to €20 million or 4% of their global turnover. Failure to comply won’t just damage their revenue but also their reputation and public image.
How can businesses prepare themselves for GDPR?
So, what can you do to prepare yourself for GDPR? Here are some ways you can protect your business and adapt to the changing data privacy landscape:
• Don’t wait until 25th May 2018. Start planning now. Otherwise, the impact of GDPR could be severe. Your business will also appear unprepared and unable to adapt to new challenges.
• A systematic approach to GDPR is essential. There are no half measures here. You must change the way you think about data protection and update your internal processes for this brave new world of data privacy.
• Take stock of any undocumented data processes and understand where your data is and where it’s going.
• Don’t hang onto more data than you need. Ensure your data can be deleted and do so after a certain period of time. This is considered good data management and will help you keep stock of the data you have. Also ensure that this data is never exposed to those unauthorised to use it.
• Promote privacy by design. Companies must completely re-think their data privacy strategy, making privacy an integral component at the design level. Software companies in particular can often be overwhelmed by the amount of information they have access to. Privacy by design will help these businesses identify and focus on the most important information.
• Track your data. Think about the life cycle of all the data your business has access to and its level of security and protection at each stage of this cycle.
• Consider different data protection policies that you may want to implement.
Benefits of GDPR
It’s easy for a business to see GDPR as a threat. After all, it will force businesses to put extra effort into design their software and services. Ultimately, however, the effects of GDPR may be positive:
• GDPR will require businesses to have good identity and access management as well as encourage them to create effective security strategies.
• It gives businesses a chance to get on top of data protection, which is an increasingly important issue with their customers. This will help foster trust and improves their image.
• With enhanced data protection comes better security against data breaches.
The next few months will be a difficult transition period for many businesses but GDPR is not something to fear. The end result will help businesses get a better grip on their data security and ensure greater protection for their customers.
Cobblestone Learning is a bespoke eLearning design agency. We support workplace performance by designing customised online and blended learning programs, content and online LMS platforms. We support organisations in areas such as compliance and regulations needs, onboarding, technical training, leadership and soft skill development.