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Breaking Down GDPR Compliance

Looking at European Union GDPR bits and bytes through magnifying glass. 3D illustrationWhen the European Union’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018, it marked a big day for corporations doing business in Europe. This law can be daunting to implement and may require much change, time and patience, depending upon your company. All in all, these practices are in the best interest of our customers and clients, whom we need to protect. To help keep your organization compliant, here’s a simple breakdown of the law:

GDPR Background and Summary

GDPR replaces Europe’s longstanding Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC with regulations governing the processing of personally identifiable information (PII) of individuals inside the European Union. GDPR is broader in scope than its predecessor. Now organizations, regardless of location, that do business with the European Economic Area, must abide by the law’s requirements. They address the following activities:

  • Data retention
  • Data destruction
  • Data automation
  • Data breach reporting
  • Data processing record keeping

Penalties for non-compliance with GDPR can reach up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is greater.

GDPR and Data Destruction

GDPR calls for an increased focus on your organization’s information destruction practices. It’s not acceptable to hoard documents and data indefinitely. Article 5 of GDPR states that personal data be “kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed…”

To comply with GDPR, keep paper records and data only as long as required by the law. Consult with an attorney to confirm your retention obligations. Establish routine document purges and a scheduled shredding program to stay in compliance with the law.

GDPR and Information Access

GDPR calls for a heightened awareness of privacy protection and access to information. Its right of access article gives consumers the right to request and receive copies of their personal data. Its right to erasure article gives consumers the right to request the deletion or removal of any collected personal data when there is no compelling reason for its continued retention. As a result, it’s important to know where your information is stored and be able to access it quickly. A qualified record management partner can provide a document archiving and tracking solution that complies with GDPR requirements.

GDPR and Breach Reporting

Even if you already have a data security plan in place, you must also make sure it aligns with GDPR requirements. GDPR-affected companies have a maximum of 72 hours after becoming aware of a breach to notify the supervisory authority. If you’re not yet in compliance with GDPR, it’s a good time to start bringing your organization up to speed with the law’s requirements.  If you’d like to read more on this law, it can be found here.

Kent Record Management provides records storage and information management services for businesses throughout Michigan. We’re here to help with all your record management and information security needs. To learn more, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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