Some companies in the USA have recently been caught off guard by the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulations which came into force in Europe in May 2018. US companies that don’t follow the guidelines for data protection are likely to be missing out on valuable online trade within Europe. These strict rules also mean that US companies are having to change the way they work, and process transactions and interactions over the internet. – It’s a good initiative to learn more about these laws using a checklist, from for example Malone University – GDPR Checklist.
Companies who are caught breaching the European GDPR rules when trading with businesses and individuals in Europe can expect heavy fines and even lawsuits to arrive on their doorstep. Online commerce from within Europe is a big business and in a global marketplace, the US needs to get onboard with the regulations, even though they haven’t been enforced by the US Government. A global market place calls for a standardized set of governing laws and the EU is ahead of the game when it comes to enforcing them.
What Does The GDPR Cover?
The new European regulations define personal information as Individuals Names, postal addresses, email addresses, medical data, and racial and cultural information. This personal data now has to be protected and held in a secure place through and on a secure server. The motion to set these rules in motion has been prompted by several high profile cases of data breaches, where this type of personal data was obtained maliciously and used for fraudulent purposes.
The Six Core Principals Of GDPR Are
- Transparency, fairness, and lawfulness
- Specified, explicit and legitimate purposes for processing personal data
- Minimizing collecting and storing personal data
- The data that is held must be accurate and rectified if this is not the case
- Limiting the storage of data so it is erased when no longer needed
- Security, integrity, and confidentiality
How Do You Comply With The New Laws?
Compliance with these new laws and regulations is essential, and there are some simple steps US companies can take to ensure they meet the required standards. The first step is to assess the actual data your company is collecting and its purpose. Holding on to and storing people’s personal data for longer than you need to can create unnecessary challenges, if the data is no longer needed, then delete it.
EU regulators have gone on record to state there will be no holiday period for organizations and fines will take immediate effect for those who fail to comply. An organization must be able to point a legal basis when it comes to collecting personal data, it can just simply be collected without a valid reason. You’ll also need to limit the number of people who have access to this kind of data, and also be seen to be reducing the risks both internal and external influences.
How Can You Protect Your Business?
Make sure that your servers are secure. There are plenty of data experts who can provide an evaluation and make sure your servers aren’t being breached. It’s always a good idea to let customers and vendors know you’re collecting their information and what you intend to use that information for. For larger companies, having a Data Protection Officer employed can be an invaluable resource, as they will be able to ensure guidelines and regulations are being met.
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