For most businesses, the approach of the GDPR next year will be a challenge embracing security, and technology. Data privacy means not only keeping data secure, but also making sure that information is stored properly, and giving customers access to that data when required.
Even organisations that focus on building security to the point of excluding all concerns with data management could find themselves risking a lack of GDPR compliance. Fortunately, there are a few keep principles of data privacy that could help you stay on the right side of the new regulations.
1. Figuring Out How to Store Data
Storing data is a key concern in the GDPR world. Article 5 of the GDPR outlines that data must be kept in a manner which allows for the identification of data subjects for no longer than necessary. In other words, data shouldn’t be stored after it’s already served its initial “usefulness” requirements.
The challenge for businesses today is making sure that when the information you keep is no longer relevant, you know how to remove it quickly, and efficiently. Any lingering data in your system could be enough for a GDPR breach.
2. Giving Customers Access to Data
The “article 15” section for the GDPR outlines a customer’s right to access their own data. In other words, it indicates that consumers have the right to obtain information as to whether personal data about them is being processed, and also the right to look at that data when required.
Businesses need to make sure that when a legitimate request to access data comes from their customers, they can instantly provide that information.
3. Correcting Inaccurate Data
The next section of the GDPR, article 16, says that customers have the right to ask companies to amend or rectify inaccurate personal data about them. This will include the right to having any incomplete data files completed.
Organisations need to make sure that they can open the personal data they’ve stored to opportunities for modification by consumers, without risking any changes that might make the data unusable for any reason.
4. Erasing Data
As well as being able to request the amendment of inaccurate data, the GDPR also created the “right to be forgotten”. Article 17 for the GDPR outlines that customers have the right to get their personal data erased. Although this is only allowed in certain circumstances, when an erasure request comes through, customers need to know how to act fast.
There may even be circumstances when people want their data to be erased for one service, but not another. In these circumstances, organisations will need to ensure they can erase one piece of data while leaving other areas untouched.
5. Data Transferring
As we move further into the digital world, consumers may want to reuse their data with a range of services. Article 20 of the GDPR gives customers the right to receive any personal data relevant to him or her, in a readable and commonly-used format.
This is one area in which obeying GDPR would offer huge benefits to organisations, without even considering compliance. As customers become more prone to using multiple services, they’ll feel more favourably about businesses that let them adjust their needs seamlessly.
What to Expect from 2018
Although the GDPR might seem like an exercise in making life hard for businesses that collect customer data, the truth is that its aim is to ensure privacy, and make doing business simpler for organisations across Europe.
By creating the right process to obey the needs of the GDPR, you can rest assured that your company will not only be compliant but better positioned to attract customers from across the world.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.