Nixon Digital

Why you need GDPR compliance

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive privacy law enacted by the European Union (EU), effective May 25, 2018. This regulation is designed to protect personal data of individuals and applies to all entities, including companies, organizations and associations that process personal data. 

GDPR compliance is a core obligation for all businesses, regardless of size or location. If your business processes the personal data of EU residents, you must comply with the regulations established by the GDPR. The law is complex and many companies struggle to ensure compliance. However, beyond the legal requirement, GDPR compliance offers surprising benefits that can improve your business and your reputation.   

Four Surprising Benefits of GDPR Compliance 

Improved Brand Reputation 

Embracing a privacy and data security culture can dramatically improve your brand reputation. GDPR requires companies to improve their network and data security, which can enhance your company’s reputation in the eyes of customers and stakeholders.  

Effective Marketing Strategy 

GDPR compliance ensures that you receive valid consent from individuals before processing their data. This can lead to a cleaner and more engaging list of leads, improving your marketing ROI. In addition, compliance allows you to eliminate unnecessary data, reduce maintenance costs, and improve efficiency.  

Accurate, Secure, and Organized Data 

GDPR not only requires you to protect personal data, but also provides tools for individuals to review and verify their data. This leads to more accurate data, reduced employee workload, and improved data security.  

Increased Customer Trust 

Proving GDPR compliance can strengthen trust and build strong relationships with your customers. With GDPR in place, customers are better informed about how their data is being used, eliminating potential misunderstandings and fostering loyalty.  

Companies that have violated the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe? 

GDPR is one of the strictest data protection laws in the world, and failure to comply can result in hefty fines. Since its implementation, over nine hundred fines have been issued in the European Economic Area (EEA). Here are a few notable examples: 

Amazon 

Amazon received the largest GDPR fine of ‚ā¨746 million in July 2021. The reasons behind the fines had to do with the consent for cookies. For example, Amazon had already been fined at the end of 2020 for how the company collected and shared data. This could have been avoided if Amazon had not obtained unambiguous opt-in consent before posting from its users. ¬†

H&M 

In the autumn of 2020, clothing retailer H&M was fined ‚ā¨35 million for violating the GDPR law. The violation is related to the monitoring of employees. After taking a vacation or sick leave, they had to attend a work resumption meeting. This meeting was recorded and made accessible to H&M managers. This gave them information about the private lives of their employees. This information was used during the evaluation of employees. H&M has violated the GDPR principle of data minimization. They should not have used any personal information, especially sensitive information about the health and beliefs of employees. They should also have conducted strike access controls on the data.¬†

TikTok 

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) fined TikTok ‚ā¨750,000 last year for violating the privacy of young children. The information that TikTok asks users for when installing and using the app was written in English and was not accessible to non-native English children. By not offering their privacy statement in another language, TikTok had not provided a clear explanation of how they collect, process, and use data. This was a violation of privacy legislation, which indicates that it must be clear to everyone what is being done with their data.   

Ensuring GDPR Compliance 

Ensuring GDPR compliance is more than just avoiding penalties; it’s about demonstrating your commitment to data privacy and security. Here are some steps to ensure compliance:   

Data Audit 

Conduct a thorough examination of the personal data you hold. Understand why and how you handle this data, who has access to it, and how long it is kept.  

Review Consent Mechanisms 

Ensure clear and transparent consent is obtained from individuals prior to the collection and processing of their personal data. The consent process should be transparent and individuals should be able to withdraw their consent easily.   

Implement Data Protection Measures 

Invest in data security measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, modification or loss. This may include encryption, secure data storage, and regular security checks.  

Prepare for Data Breaches 

Have a clear plan to detect, report and investigate personal data breaches. Remember that under GDPR, you must report certain types of data breaches to the relevant watchdog within 72 hours of becoming aware of them.  

Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) 

Depending on the size and nature of the data processing, you may need to specify a DPO. The DPO will monitor your data protection strategy and ensure GDPR compliance.  

In conclusion…¬†

While GDPR compliance is not easy, it is an essential part of any organization doing business in the EU. While the GDPR has presented our companies with challenges and pain, it has also created opportunities. The most important benefit you gain by achieving GDPR compliance is that it provides long-term data security and data privacy that your customers can trust in you and your business. If you’re interested in learning more about GDPR Compliance? Book a demo with Nixon and find out how we can help you to stay GDPR compliant.