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GDPR: All That European Companies Should Know About It

Protecting company data and employees' personal information is essential for any organization. Therefore, within this regulatory act, the EU set up a new framework of guidelines that favors the citizens to protect themselves.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is based on Article 16 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which addresses the protection of personal data. This article talks about the privacy and security of an individual.

On April 14, 2016, the European government came up with this act which safeguards the rights and personal information of the citizens. The act was adopted on April 27, 2016, and became enforceable on May 25, 2018. This act aims to help people protect their data while working in a company. This is a binding legislative act and all the member states of the EU fall under this act.

Key Requirements of GDPR

If an organization fails to meet the GDPR requirements, it shall be liable for heavy fines. Here are some conditions that every company has to meet-

  • Relevant Data
    While asking employees for their data, the company can only ask for necessary relevant data. The company must be transparent about why they need that information and what they plan on doing with it. They must also guarantee that no employee's data is misused or leaked to other sources.
  • Storage of Data
    The company must only ask the employee to share data that is needed and after use, the data must be deleted. Unless necessary, the data must not be processed or stored. Moreover, all personal data must be destroyed once the employee leaves the job.
  • Transparency is Necessary
    When a company asks employees for personal data, the person or the data subject has the right to question its need. The company is liable to answer their questions and help them understand its necessity. Further, the company must assure the subject that the data be retained for no longer than necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. If the company refuses to compile with the employee, they also have the right to take action against the company. They can lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, such as a data protection authority.
  • Content of the Subject is Necessary
    The company must take the employee's prior consent before using their data. In addition, they must be well informed about all the data being collected, its need, and their rights before demanding approval.
  • Data Breach Register
    If there is a breach, the company must register it and inform the subject within seventy-two hours of the breach.
  • Software for Protection
    Companies should implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure the security of personal data, which can include, software or advanced technical mechanisms which protect their valuable content. It is also important to monitor and timely update the software. They help prevent a breach of data and cyber-attacks.
  • Regular Assessment
    Assessment is a system where a technical person or a team analyses the processing and security of data. Therefore, it is important to conduct this impact analysis periodically. Especially when there is any change in the process or requirements, it helps to ensure that the change is incorporated correctly.
  • Transfer of Data
    Even if the data is being processed, handled, or stored by a third party, the party collecting the data is responsible for taking care of it. Thus, if the data is being transferred to or from a third party or even within the company, the party who initially collected the data must take proper precautions.
  • Training Sessions
    It is the social duty of the company to ensure that all its employees are aware of GDPR, its requirements, and their rights. They must conduct regular and frequent training sessions to ensure everything falls rightly.

Why is GDPR Important in Europe?

Companies may be in need of personal data from their employees for a number of reasons. However, they generally do not inform their employees why they need it. Most employees are not aware that the company is liable to answer their questions while collecting personal data. As a result, data is carelessly handled, leading to several data breaching incidents. Due to this, the employees or the data owner had to bear and face the consequences. This brought about a need for a regulation that kept in check the rights of the citizens and personal data. Thus, GDPR came into the picture.

What is the Need for a Lawyer for GDPR Compliance?

Most companies have different segments where people are working towards a common goal. Their work and roles don't need to align. For instance, there might be different needs for data in different departments. This makes it difficult for companies to keep track of GDPR compliance for their employees. However, if the company neglects its requirements, it might face heavy fines or audits. This requires hiring a lawyer to ensure that GDPR is taken care of along all verticals.

What is the Role of a Lawyer in GDPR Compliance?

Here are some duties that a lawyer must do -

  • GDPR Training
    It is important to keep the company's employees, along different strata, well informed about this act. This is for their security as well as for the security of the company. Other employees will work under their leadership as they climb the ladder and rise to senior positions. At this point, they must already be aware of what they must do to ensure the regulation is maintained.
  • Data Management
    Lawyers closely monitor data storage, such as the type of data, location, time of storage, and format. They also ensure that the company only uses the data as needed and destroys it once done. If there is any data transfer, they ensure the transaction is smooth. Especially if a third party is involved, a lawyer makes sure that no data is misused.
  • Taking Care of Data Breaches
    Data leaks and hacking are possible, no matter how superior technology is used. In case of a breach, a lawyer intervenes between the company and the party involved to ensure all communications are made smoothly. Furthermore, they ensure no legal issues and protect the company and its employees from data misuse.
  • Handling Fines
    If there is a complication where the company fails to meet the GDPR requirements, the company will have to incur fines. If a person or an employee feels cheated when their personal data is misused, they may file a case against the company. In such a situation, the lawyer steps forward and analyses the severity of the situation. Based on it, they suggest relevant actions that must be taken.
  • Advise the Company
    Whenever there is a change in the operational structure of the company or a policy change, the management of the company makes major decisions. However, when the board runs their decisions before a lawyer, they can foresee and predict any norms affecting the company's integrity. Therefore, they shall also keep the current guidelines or new policies in mind before making any decision.
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As per the binding act by the EU, all companies must follow the GDPR requirements. The company can be fined if these parameters are ignored or not taken care of. Furthermore, employees can also take action against the organization. Thus, it is in the company's best interest to hire a lawyer to take care of this regulation and incorporate it within its system. Get in touch with the experts at ContractsCounsel and they shall help you get the best legal advice.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

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