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How Small Businesses Can Ensure Compliance with EU GDPR Laws

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on May 28, 2018. If you are a small business owner serving customers in the European Union, you need to be aware of this law. Not complying with it will have serious consequences — including a fine of up to 24 million Euros.

 In this post, you will learn about this legislation and also what steps you can take to comply with it. 

GDPR Law: An Overview

GDPR is a piece of legislation that was passed by the EU to ensure data privacy of its residents.  The regulation imposes strict restrictions with regard to handling personally identifiable information (PII) — information that can be traced to an individual’s identity such as name, age, address, and other personal information. 

This legislation applies to all businesses that hold, process, or use any sort of personal data of any EU resident, regardless of their geographic location. It represents a radical shift in data transparency as it would give residents more control over their personal data. The law dictates that companies must provide control to residents over who, where, when, and for what purpose personal details will be used or shared. 

So, how can you ensure that your small business complies with the GDPR rules? Here are four simple steps to ensure compliance with these new EU data laws. 

1. Analyse Your Data

How do you obtain, process, store and use your data?  Knowing this is an important part of arranging your GDPR preparation.  It’s also important to discover whether you’re required to register your business with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  It’s worth taking the Self-Assessment questionnaire, even if you don’t think it’s something your business needs.

2. Craft a New Data Policy 

You need to create a revised data policy for EU customers. The policy should inform customers about the collection and use of data. It should tell customers about the type of data that will be collected and whether the data will be shared with any third party. Also, the policy should inform customers about their right to consent or decline the use and sharing of personal data. 

3. Find Out What Data is Regulated

Make sure that you know which data falls under EU special category. The special category data includes information that is personal and confidential. This includes the following. 

  • personal information such as name, date of birth, address, race, age, gender, religion
  • biometric data
  • genetic data
  • criminal conviction data
  • health data

You must conform to GDRP rules in processing the above data. It’s important to obtain a consent before using the above data. The customer should also have an option to later decline consent regarding sharing of sensitive data. 

4. Obtain Data that is Necessary

Small businesses should obtain only that data which is necessary to avoid legal trouble. You should only collectdata that you require for execution of the contract, or to protect the interest of your customer. Minimizing exposure to your customers’ identities will reduce the likelihood of a violating the GDPR law. 

5. Due Diligence

Lastly, small businesses should take steps to assess risks to the privacy of data and diligently address them. It’s important to carry on a comprehensive risk assessment regarding data privacy. In addition, firms should proactively help partners ensure full compliance with the EU data protection laws. 

Failure to comply with the EU GDPR laws can result in a serious penalty. The fine for the misuse of personal data of the residents can be up to 4 percent of annual global turnover or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater. So, complying with requirements of the law should be a priority for every small business. 

Now, this is just an overview – a little information to help you get started.  We suggest you read up on the subject with the ICO and Gov UK website

ICO Self-Assessment Book Website Privacy Updates Business Coaching  

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