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What is the General Data Protection Regulation, and why does it Matter.

What is the General Data Protection Regulation and why does it Matter

The advancements in technology have revolutionized almost all sectors. Data collection and storage are not exceptional.Individuals or companies may have some sensitive information that they may not wish tobe known to the external world.

When you collect data, you are obliged to respect the data owners’rights and ensure you protect the data from exploitation, misuse, damage, modification, deletion, or copy. The data is to be processed carefully, prevented from loss,and should not in any case land in the hands of unintended people who may have malicious intent. Otherwise, you face penalties for not doing so.

In protecting consumer’s data, a news standard of data protection known as GDPR Compliance has been put into place. Moreover, companies that gather data must be challenged to put systems and processes to maintain data compliance.

What does GDRP stands for?

GDRP is an abbreviation for General Data Protection Regulation. It is a data regulation/law for companies that collects and stores data on citizens within the European Union (EU) countries or members.

It is considered the most robust set of data rules and regulations that enhance how people access their information and what organizations can do with personal data. Also ensures that online data security is maintained.

The GDPR was adopted in 2016 by both the European Council and European Parliament to replace the 1995 Data Protection Directives.

However, it came into force in May 2018 when countries within the European nations were allowed to make their recommendations and changes to suit their needs.

What is GDPR Compliance?

GDPR compliance means that every company that collects or is to collect consumer data must comply with strict and new rules of protecting the data of citizens of UE members.

Also, any company that fails to achieve GDPR is subject to stiff fines or penalties.

What is GDPR Compliance aim?

It aims at creating more consistent personal and consumer data protection against the EU nations.

In other words, it aims to simplify the data regulatory environment and to give individuals control over their data.

Besides, it addresses the transfer of personal or organizational data in and outside the EU areas.

Some of the legal terms that you are bound to meet in the GDPR includes;

  • Data subject- a person whose data is collected and processed
  • Data processing-the actions performed in the data. May include collecting, recording, structuring or organizing, storing, or using data, among other activities.
  •  Data controller- the individual who decides which, why, and how personal data is processed. Might the employee who handles data in an organization.
  •  Data processor- is any third party that processes any personal data on behalf of its data controller. They may include an email service provider.
  •  Personal data- any information which relates to individuals.

What are included in GDPRpersonal data?

They are different pieces of information collected and which may relate toan identified individual.

According to GDPR, personal data is any information that helps to identify an individual.

They include;

  • A persons’ name
  • Home address
  • Email address
  • IP address
  • Identification card number
  • Telephone number

Wait, there’s more to personal data.

Personal data can also be a person's criminal conviction or offense data that are considered more sensitive to individuals.

 GDPR also protect privacy data such;

  • Racial or ethnic data
  • Political opinions
  • One’s sexual orientation.
  • Biometric data
  • Health and genetic data, among others

Personal data are only said to be “personal” if the information can relate to a specific person. However, even if a person is directly or indirectly identified from the data collected, but the information does not relate to the person, it’s not personal data.

What are the data protection requirements for GDPR?

Data requirements for GDPR are factors that any collector and controller of data within the EU nations are expected to comply with during their data processing.

Some of the data protection and privacy for GDPR include;

  • Have the consent of the subjects before the data processing
  • Companies should appoint a data protection officer that oversees GDPR compliance.
  • Data collectors should ensure the safe handling of data transfer across borders.
  • Companies should provide any data breach notification to their subjects.
  • Besides, data collectors and controllers should ensure data privacy is maintained.

The above requirement can are guided by GDPR principles.

What are GDPR data protectionprinciples?

GDPR has seven critical principles laid in Article 5 of the legislation. The principles have been designed to protect and guide how people's data are handled.

These guidelines do not act as rigid rules; instead, they provide a framework or layout for the general purpose of GDPR.

The seven principles include:

  • Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Purpose limitation
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Data minimization
  • Accountability.

a)  Lawfulness, fairness and transparency

For GDPR data protection, lawfulness requires all the data processing practices like; data collection and storage do not break any regulations.

They should also not hide anything from the data subjects but be lawful, fair, and transparent.

Fairness means that your actions as a data controller or processor must match with how the data was described to the data subject.

In simple terms, you must keep the promise you madeto your subjects before they signed the contract with you. And ensure you only use the collected data for the purpose it was meant for during the time frame agreed upon.

The concept of transparency, it’s all about being clear. The data subject must be informed of all the data processing practices. They must be aware of the means and time frame of data processing and know what you expect to do with their data.

Additionally, please provide them with the information on who will be able to access their data.

In other words, state in your privacy policy the kind of data you collect and why you're collecting them.

b)  Purpose limitation 

Here you are expected to be specific and only collect data for certain specific purposes. Clearly state the purpose of gathering personal data and only collect the data required to complete that purpose.

Ensure you stay true to your promise of collecting your subject’s data and be explicit and legitimate.

c)  Data minimization

You only need to collect the required minimum data that you need to achieve its processing purposes. But why?

In case of any data breach, criminals will only get access to limited data. Moreover,data minimization ensures that you keep limited data that is up to date.

The GDPR compliance requires that the personal data collected be adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary to achieve the purpose. You will also be expected to justify the amount of data you collect. Therefore ensure you design and document adequate policy for data collection.

d) Data integrity and confidentiality

This also refers to data security. The GDPR laws require you to ensure your subject's data is secure or safe from any intrusion. You should also ensure that the information is protected against any unlawful acts, accidental acts, damage, or destructions, among others.

When talking about confidentiality, you need to protect the information from being exposed to unauthorized persons due to insider threats or data breaches.You can deploy several data security measures available to ensure your client’s data are safe. As a data security company, you need to ensure you restrict any access to the information stored.

In the world of data security, integritycould mean completeness of the data. The security controls that focus on integrity are intended to protect data from being modified or misuse by untargeted parties.

Integrity, therefore, involves maintaining the trustworthiness and consistency of data throughout its entire processing. Ensure that no data is changed and that enough precautions are taken to ensure that no information is altered even during transit.

To maintain your clients' integrity and confidentiality, you may consider gaining official certification like the ISO 270001. This would prove your commitment to your clients and cybersecurity.

e) Data accuracy

Data accuracy is integral to any data protection process. You ensure that the personal data you collect from your clients is accurate and, where necessary kept up to date.

Ensure you do away with the old and outdated contacts, which may bring confusion when tracing persons. Also, make sure you erase or rectify any inaccurate or incomplete personal data.It would help if you had in mind that your clients have the right to request for any incorrect data to be erased from their accounts.

f) Storage limitations 

According to GDPR compliance, you need to retain the data for a necessarily limited period, after which you are to erase them or delete the personal data that are no longer necessary.

g) Data Accountability

For accountability purposes, the GDPR requires you to keep a record and prove compliance. There should be a thorough documentation of all your policies that governs your data collection and processing.

You have to ensure you carefully note down every step and justification you made on your official documents. Besides, you must demonstrate how the document proves the compliance upon requests by the authorities.

In a simpler version, accountability would mean documenting how the client's data collected is handled. And with the critical steps taken to ensure only the right people get access to the information.

After discussing the principles that govern GDPR compliance, we can now look at the penalties you may face if you don't comply with the regulations.

What are some of the penalties by GDPR?

The GDPR fines and penalties are to make non-compliance costly for both multi-nationals and micro-national businesses.Any non-compliant organization is to face significant liabilities irrespective of its size.

GDPR sets a maximum fine at 20 million Euros or 4% annual global turnover for infringements.

However, not every infringement calls for fines. The supervisory bodies like the UK's Information Commissioner's Office can sometimes take a range of penalties like;


  • Sometimes issues warnings and reprimands
  • Impose a temporary/permanent ban on data processing
  • Suspends data transfers and order rectifications of data, among others.

What rights do data subjects have within GDPR?

According to the GDPR compliance, clients to data processing companies has the following rights;

The right to be informed and access information

Article 15 of the regulations elaborate on the data subject’s right, giving an individual the right to access their personal information. Knowing which of their data is being processed and requesting a copy of any of their data.

Right to rectification and erasure

Article 17 of GDPR provide that clients have the right to request for an erase of any of their data

Right to object the data processing

The GDPR allows individuals to object, stop, or prevent the processing of any of their data without their consent. Meaning organizations cannot use an individual’s data for marketing, sales, or non-service related purposes.

What is the importance of GDPR?

GDPR compliance major importance is to protect the personal data of citizens within the EU nations. Also, it simplifies the data regulatory environment giving individuals control over their personal information.

The GDPR ensures any company that collects and processes data provides clear documentation of their activities. Besides, it allows for the lawfulness of data processingand ensures data security and accountability.

Nevertheless, it improves personal data protection, clarifying what any company that processes data must do to ensure information safety. 


Every individual or organization may have sensitive information that they may not want to enter the public domain. The General Data Protection Regulation has much ensured that personal data are secured fromaccess by unauthorized persons.

Besides, the data regulatory environment has been simplified to enable individuals to have control over their data.Also, the principles like data lawfulness and transparency, accuracy and accountability, integrity, and confidentiality have ensured that data controllers operate within the guidelines laid by the GDPR.

Contributor: admin
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