Importance of GDPR
The General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR for short, is a European Union legal instrument ensuring the protection of individuals with regards to the processing of personal data, and on the free movement of such data. After coming into force on 24 May 2016, it will become binding and directly applicable in its entirety in all Members States of the European Union on 25 May 2018, including the UK.
Under new GDPR legalisation, anyone who engages in the processing of personal data must comply with GDPR provisions and confer important rights to individuals whose personal data is being processed. When we say ANYONE who is involved in the processing of data is required to act in accordance with the regulation, we do mean ANYONE. This includes natural persons, legal persons, companies and governments. Non-compliance could unfortunately cause many issues including:
• significant fines
• court proceedings and
• reputational damage
Importance of GDPR for Companies
You may hear people say:
‘My company isn’t based in the EU, so GDPR doesn’t apply to us, right?’
Wrong! Companies and others who deal with personal data can be based outside the EU but, if they are processing the data of EU citizens or residents, they are expected to organise their activities in line with and comply with GDPR.
Anyone who has an establishment in the EU and is involved in the processing of personal data must also comply with the regulation.
This means a large number of individuals, corporation and public authorities are massively affected by the GDPR and they must all be aware of the requirements and the complexities.
In this slide we will look at some definitions in relation to the GDPR. It is important you understand what these key words mean before continuing. We will look at each of these definitions in more detail in later modules.
A Data Controller is a person who (either alone, jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which, and the manner in which, any personal data are, or are to be, processed.
A data controller determines the purposes and the means of processing personal data. If you are a data controller, you are not relieved of your obligations where a processor is involved – the general data protection regulation places further obligations on you to ensure your contracts with processors comply with the GDPR.
The processor or data processor is a person or organisation who deals with personal data as instructed by a controller for specific purposes and services offered to the controller that involve personal data processing (remembering that processing can really be many things under the GDPR).
A data processor is responsible for processing personal data on behalf of a controller. If you are a processor the GDPR places specific legal obligations on you; for example, you are required to maintain records of personal data and processing activities. You will have a legal liability if you are responsible for a breach.
Means an identified or identifiable natural person that is ‘identified’ within a certain group of people if he/she is distinguished from all of the other people in that certain group.
Let’s explain this a bit further. A natural person is identifiable when it is possible to identify them, directly or indirectly, with certain identifiers. These are identification numbers, location data or names, or, if the information identifies physiological, mental, genetic, economic, physical or social identity of that person.
The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified, in particular by reference to an identifier.
This definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, including name, identification number, location data or online identifier, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people.
The GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems where personal data are accessible according to specific criteria. This could include chronologically ordered sets of manual records containing personal data.
Sensitive Personal Data
Addressed in Article 9 of the GDPR and is described as information revealing any of the following; sexual orientation, health data, data concerning individuals sex life, religious or philosophical beliefs, biometric data used to uniquely identify natural persons, trade union membership, racial or ethnic origin, genetic data or political opinions
Principles of Data Protection
Under the GDPR, the data protection principles set out the main responsibilities for organisations.
Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data should be:
• Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;
• Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;
• adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
• accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay;
• 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; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and
• processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.
As a side note, Article 5.2 states that the controller will be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the above principles.