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Everything you need to know about GDPR in 2023

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Overview:

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection and privacy regulation that became enforceable on May 25, 2018. It applies to organisations that handle the personal data of individuals located in the European Union (EU) or offer goods and services to individuals in the EU.

Key Principles of GDPR:

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency: Personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently. Organisations must inform individuals about the collection, use, and processing of their personal data.
  2. Purpose limitation: Personal data should only be collected for specific, explicit, and legitimate purposes. It should not be further processed in a manner incompatible with those purposes.
  3. Data minimization: Only the necessary personal data should be collected and processed. Organisations should avoid excessive data collection.
  4. Accuracy: Organisations are responsible for keeping personal data accurate and up to date. They should take steps to rectify or erase inaccurate or outdated data.
  5. Storage limitation: Personal data should be kept in a form that allows identification for no longer than necessary for the intended purposes.
  6. Integrity and confidentiality: Organisations are required to implement appropriate security measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, loss, alteration, or disclosure.

Rights of Data Subjects:

GDPR grants several rights to individuals (data subjects) regarding the processing of their personal data. These rights include:

  1. Right to access: Individuals have the right to request access to their personal data held by organisations.
  2. Right to rectification: Individuals can request the correction of inaccurate or incomplete personal data.
  3. Right to erasure: Also known as the “right to be forgotten,” individuals have the right to request the deletion of their personal data under certain circumstances.
  4. Right to restriction of processing: Individuals can request the limitation of processing their personal data in specific situations.
  5. Right to data portability: Individuals have the right to receive their personal data in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format to transmit it to another organisation.
  6. Right to object: Individuals can object to the processing of their personal data based on specific grounds, such as direct marketing or legitimate interests.

Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data:

Under GDPR, organizations must have a valid legal basis for processing personal data. The lawful bases for processing include obtaining the data subject’s consent, fulfilling contractual obligations, complying with legal obligations, protecting vital interests, performing tasks in the public interest, or pursuing legitimate interests.

Data Protection Officer (DPO):

In certain cases, organisations may be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The DPO is responsible for overseeing data protection activities, providing guidance, and acting as a point of contact for individuals and supervisory authorities.

Penalties and Enforcement:

GDPR enforcement is carried out by supervisory authorities in each EU member state. They have the power to impose administrative fines for non-compliance. Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, fines can be significant, reaching up to 4% of the organisation’s global annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher.

GDPR Compliance:

To comply with GDPR, organizations are encouraged to:

  1. Understand their data processing activities and identify the personal data they handle.
  2. Implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data.
  3. Obtain consent or establish other lawful bases for processing personal data.
  4. Implement mechanisms to honour individuals’ rights, including access, rectification, erasure, and objection.
  5. Conduct data protection impact assessments for high-risk processing activities.
  6. Establish data breach notification procedures and promptly notify supervisory authorities and affected individuals in the event of a breach.
  7. Maintain documentation and records of their data processing activities.

Please note that this overview is not exhaustive, and GDPR is a complex regulation. It’s important to consult legal professionals or refer to official GDPR resources for detailed and up-to-date information specific to your situation and jurisdiction.

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