What is a GDPR compliance checklist?
With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, data protection was standardized at the European level. It is one of the most comprehensive reforms to data regulation in recent years. The regulation impacts how companies around the world shape their strategies for external data protection as well as internal data access and use.
The GDPR aims to give EU and UK citizens more transparency and control over their data. In addition, on this way, the data protection regulations of the individual EU member states under the previous EU directive were merged and modernized.
The GDPR takes a risk-based approach to data protection, meaning that each company must create, review, evaluate and monitor its process for collecting and storing data. This is mainly because, in the eyes of the government authorities, the conditions for data collection, data protection, and data security are unique to each company. Conversely, this means that each company must create a tailored concept.
A GDPR compliance checklist makes it easier for companies to conduct an initial GDPR check of the current state, create a GDPR plan and initiate corrective measures. In addition, a GDPR compliance checklist can be used for a regular review of GDPR compliance and training of employees in the company’s data protection policies.
Tracking the GDPR compliance with a GDPR checklist has the advantage for companies that this procedure contributes to better data security, higher consumer confidence, lower maintenance costs, and better adaptation to technological progress.
This article deals with:
All This Is Part of a GDPR Check
As a business continues to grow and change, there will be a need to add or remove technologies, processes, and people to meet data management requirements. Compliance with the GDPR is an ongoing process that can never be fully completed due to business and market structures changes.
Companies that handle the personal data of EU and UK citizens must meet these high requirements. Otherwise, they face fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of global turnover. However, a GDPR check is not just about avoiding fines. Companies can distinguish themselves by complying with the GDPR regulations by showing that they take consumer protection seriously
Regular GDPR checks help companies verify that they continue to meet GDPR requirements. In the routine of everyday work, security gaps can otherwise go undetected – with far-reaching consequences. The following points are part of every GDPR check and thus form this basis for a corresponding checklist.
1. Data Protection Officer
Every company that collects personal data and has more than 10 to 15 employees must appoint a data protection officer. This person helps with data maintenance and monitoring and processing of special types of data on a large scale.
2. Data Protection Concept and Audit
Processes related to data protection must be designed following data protection requirements and following a uniform standard. In addition, such processes related to the entire supply chain must be assessed and audited to prevent internal and external data privacy breaches.
3. Data Governance
Data governance encompasses all the technologies, processes, and people necessary to consistently and properly handle data in the enterprise. Everything related to data collection must be documented from inception to deletion. Up-to-date documentation provides end-to-end control over the nature of the data and how it is handled.
4. Consent to Data Collection, Storage and Deletion
Companies must obtain consent from customers before collecting and storing data. Personal data must have an expiration date, and users must be able to request that their data be deleted
5. Compliance, Auditing & Recordkeeping
Companies must be able to demonstrate that they comply with the GDPR regulations according to current standards. To do so, data protection practices must be audited regularly. There are also strict requirements for recording all stored data, processing that data, transferring data to other countries, and demonstrating activities related to personal data using identity and access management (IAM) systems.
6. Data Breach Obligations
Under the GDPR, companies are required to notify supervisory authorities within 72 hours in the event of a data breach. Individuals whose data is affected must be notified of the data breach “without undue delay.”
The Benefits of a GDPR checklist
A GDPR checklist serves as a guide for companies to implement the provisions of the GDPR in a legally compliant manner within the company. Each checklist is based on the seven protection and accountability principles described in Article 5 of the GDPR. A GDPR compliance checklist is typically used to review existing data protection provisions within the organization and as a basis for implementing the GDPR provisions.
Many times, it has proven useful to use GDPR checklists for the training and information of employees and contractual partners. This is also part of the task of every company: to ensure that the GDPR is understood and complied with.
Regularly conducting a GDPR check with the appropriate checklist will benefit companies in the following ways:
- Damage to reputation and loss of reputation is counteracted
- High threats of fines, liability for damages, and personal liability of those responsible are avoided
- Injunctive relief by the regulatory authority is avoided
- Loss of rights is avoided, for example with insurance companies
If the company lacks the capacity for a comprehensive GDPR check, the help of external service providers can also be used. These uncover the weak points and risks in the company on the subject of data protection using a GDPR audit. Together with the management and/or the data protection officer, they check which gaps exist in organization, processes, or technology. In the final audit report, the company is informed whether it is currently sufficiently complying with the General Data Protection Regulation requirements and where there are risks and need for action. Implementing data protection following the GDPR standards is advisable for every company due to the numerous risks.
Comply With the GDPR Checklist More Easily With Digital Tool
The General Data Protection Regulation forces companies to better protect the personal data of customers and employees. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines. In addition, data protection violations can lead to criminal acts to the detriment of companies and individuals. Immense business impact can further result in reputational damage and loss.
By proactively conducting routine checks on the GDPR regulations, companies reduce the risk of data breaches. A regular GDPR check ideally uncovers data risks that are promptly remediated. With digital applications, such as Lumiform’s app and desktop software, GDPR audits can be automated, saving time and resources for the company and ensuring compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. With Lumiform, cumbersome paper lists and elaborate analog documentation are a thing of the past.
The benefits of digital GDPR checks and audits at a glance:
- The flexible form construction kit makes it possible to create new individual GDPR checklists at any time and to adapt them again and again.
- Thanks to the app, GDPR checks can be easily performed on site and checklists and audits can be accessed from anywhere at any time.
- GDPR audit reports are automatically generated and can be shared instantly.
- Simplified analysis of collected data in desktop software identifies and remediates risk areas faster.
- All data and reports are stored securely in the cloud and can be accessed at any time.