The challenge for business start-ups to successfully navigate their first couple of years in business is tricky enough without having to worry about investing additional time ensuring that they are 100% compliant for data privacy legislation like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation has been enforceable since in May 2018 across the 28 Member States. It was formulated to ensure the complete safeguarding of of personal data for all individual citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area and must be complied with by any body, commercial or other, that is handling private personal data. It applies to start-ups and large organisations.
It sets out a set of rules for how this data must be managed and establishes a penalty regime that can be used in the event of a breach. It is vital that start-ups are fully in tune with what obligations they must meet. A frivolous approach to GDPR could in a debilitating fine at time when cash flow is need for investment and growth as a business seeks to establish a firm ground from which to operate.
If you are unsure what your business start-up do in relation to GDPR then consider the following. Do your databases hold personal data about individuals for any business or other non-household purpose? if the answer is yes then you will have to complete a range of actions, both once-off and ongoing.
However there is not obligation on you to do so if the data you manage will only be used for your own personal family or household purposes – e.g. personal social media activity, private letters and emails, or use of your own household gadgets.
The best way to ensure that you are complying with GDPR is to consult with an external firm that are expert in dealing with this obligations. An audit of your systems can be completed so as to formulate a management plan that you help you avoid the potential massive fines. These fines can be as high as €20m or 4% of annual global revenue for the previous financial year, whichever figure is higher, in the event of a GDPR breach occurring.
You should investigate if your company manages personal data. This can refers to information about a particular individual that can be used to identify them. However, it does not need to be private in order to be considered personal as information which is public knowledge or is about someone’s professional life can constitute personal data.
Additionally anonymous information must also be managed in line with GDPR. This is due to the fact that the combination of anonymous data can allow an individual to be identified.
So if your company, group or organization completes data processing you must do everything in your power to ensure personal data is afforded protection for all conceivable uses suck as collecting, recording, storing, using, analyzing, combining, disclosing or deleting it.
The wisest thing to do would be to complete a review of all of your systems and consider the obligations that you may have under GDPR. There are checklists and free information resources to help you with this and it is a smart move to use these for your own reference. However, if you wish to remove all risk and put your company in the best position to operate without fear of a data breach occurring they you should consult with a company that can complete this process for you.
A team of experience professionals will know what to search for and the best way of tackling it due to previous projects and the experience that they have accumulated. This will also leave you free to spend your time on the many other important parts of the business that you need to tend to during the start-up phase.