With the GDPR deadline just over a month away, it is important that companies ensure that they are compliant. If non-compliance occurs, organisations can face fines of up to €20m, or 4% of global revenue, which will also inevitably damage the company’s brand.
It is a common misconception that non-EU companies need not comply, however, these new regulations will in fact impact any organization around the world that handles or processes the data of EU citizens. Becoming GDPR compliant can be difficult, but it is also important to consider how organizations remain compliant after the 25th May deadline.
Once an organization has a data register in place, it’s important to keep it updated. Ensure that the dates are regularly checked and, once the organization no longer requires the data, it is removed from the register. It is equally important to process new data correctly, inputting it into the register to keep it up-to-date and consequently compliant. Any gaps in the register could mean that the organization is unable to prove their compliance which may result in a fine (if they cannot prove that they have been working towards compliance).
If an employee involved in GDPR compliance leaves the company, it is important that their role is filled by someone who understands the data processes that are in place to ensure that the organization is compliant. It is not just monitoring the existing data that is important to maintain compliance: new employees must be made aware and understand the organization’s data processing as well as, importantly, being aware of what GDPR is, why it is important, and how it will affect their role.
What happens if something goes wrong? Although it is obviously a situation that organizations want to avoid, if something goes wrong it is important that the right people know how to react. For example, can the Data Protection Officer identify the source of the problem? However, it is also important to liaise and collaborate with other departments, since GDPR compliance will affect the entire organization. Ensure that departments, from legal to PR, are aware of the contingency plan so that, if the situation was ever to arise, all hands are on deck to rectify any issues effectively and efficiently.
It is imperative that organisations around the world do not overlook GDPR compliance as something that simply won’t affect them: there’s a high chance that it will. Becoming compliant is one thing but remaining compliant and preparing for every situation is an entirely different challenge. The potential repercussions of non-compliance are too great to run the risk of being unprepared come the 25th May.
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