GDPR Compliance & Certification

GDPR Compliance & Certification

Every organization is responsible for abiding by certain regulations and policies specific to an industry or mandated by the government. This amplifies the importance of compliance training in ensuring that your employees are educated with proper conduct to prevent any violation in the workplace or on the consumers’ rights under the law. 

In today’s digital world where most businesses have online operations, one of the many crucial responsibilities of any organization is protecting consumer data and privacy. Increasing technological development has pushed Europe to enforce stronger data protection with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), replacing the outdated Data Protection Directive of the EU. 

The GDPR is a data privacy and security law designed to protect the personal data of EU citizens and residents through a set of rules and limitations in how data is processed by organizations. It also allows individuals to have control over their own data. This is applicable to any company based in the EU that involves data processing activities. Even those based outside the EU but offer goods/services to EU customers or have access to data of individuals from the EU need to comply with GDPR.

GDPR Compliance and Certification - EU flag

Upon the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, it also adopted the EU GDPR’s framework into its own data protection law known as the UK GDPR that retains the core data protection principles, rights, and obligations.

GDPR compliance and certification management software enable any business or organization to demonstrate and guarantee a secure way to process consumer data and privacy, which in return elevates their reputation in the industry and in the digital world. 

So, what does GDPR compliance mean for your organization?

GDPR compliance means that any professional or commercial organization collecting personal data of EU citizens and residents, whether based in the EU or not, shall ensure that their data process and security system follow the data protection standards and their employees’ associated GDPR compliance training courses. With the GDPR affecting many industries operating online and processing data of consumers as well as employees, GDPR compliance is not only a mandatory responsibility but also an essential part of risk management for any organization. 

Non-compliance would not only put the company’s reputation at stake but also lead to a large penalty that can range from €20 million or 4 percent of a company’s global annual revenue. Data controllers (any organization or entity that decides on the purpose and procedures of the collected data) and data processors (third parties/ outside services performing the data processing under the data controller’s authorization) are equally liable in compliance. If the data processor fails to comply with GDPR’s data protection regulations, then it also makes the data controller non-compliant.

Beyond legal matters, GDPR compliance demonstrates your company’s level of data protection for your customers which builds trust and loyalty to your service. 

GDPR compliance is not only applicable in IT. Rather, it also involves other departments and aspects in the business, such as the HR department, customer service, and even sales and marketing, as their activities involve collecting and processing data of employees and customers. 

It’s important for your teams to understand the data protection regulations to enable them to practice proper compliance. GDPR training can also empower employees and customers alike to exercise their rights over their data.

What are the GDPR compliance requirements for data processing?

The GDPR provides a list of requirements and responsibilities for data controllers and data processors that are summarized into a framework consisting of 7 core GDPR principles of data protection that are also adopted by the UK GDPR. It’s easier for your employees to practice compliance with a deep understanding of these principles.

GDPR Compliance and Certification - Principles

  • Lawfulness, fairness, and transparency. This means that the personal data your organization collected from your employees and/or customers should be processed on lawful grounds under the GDPR, and that data subjects (individuals such as employees and customers whose data are processed) are clearly informed of the purpose of any action to be taken on the data. Relatively, both the data controller and data processor shall adhere to the purpose and conditions declared with the data subject regarding their personal information.
  • Purpose limitation. This principle requires your organization to process data only for a specific and legitimate purpose that should also be clearly and explicitly communicated with the data subject. The data collected should not be further processed for any reason other than the specified purpose, but exceptions are allowed for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes.
  • Data minimization. The amount of data that can be processed by your organization is limited only to the adequate and relevant data in achieving the purpose stated with the data subject. 
  • Accuracy. Your organization should only store accurate, up-to-date data. Your organization should delete or rectify inaccurate and outdated data without delay.
  • Storage limitation. This principle allows personal data to be stored only within a period of time that is necessary for the purpose of data processing. However, a longer period for data storage is applicable for exceptions in archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes.
  • Integrity and confidentiality. Personal data should be processed with appropriate security and protection measures against “unlawful processing or accidental loss, destruction or damage”. 
  • Accountability. Data controllers and data processors should be equally responsible for compliance with the principles in collecting and processing data under the GDPR. Compliance can be proven with evidence of proper data management documentation by your organization upon request by authorities. Similarly, compliance should not only be demonstrated to the regulators but with the data subjects such as your employees or customers as well.

GDPR compliance certification

Under the EU GDPR, certification doesn’t indicate definite compliance of an organization but rather demonstrates their effort and level of security measures they’ve taken in following the data protection regulations on its processing activities which relatively show accountability for the data controller and data processor alike. 

The legislation states that the application for certification is voluntary. However, your organization can still consider having your processing activities certified for a better demonstration of compliance to the Supervisory Authority (SA) and to the public. But, certified processing activities don’t protect an organization from legal consequences if any issues arise, nor reduce the responsibilities of the data controller and data processor. In addition, individuals, products, and systems can’t be certified under the GDPR, and are rather only considered part of the evaluation process for the certification of the data processing activities. 

A GDPR certification only serves as an agreement between the certification body and your organization’s data controller/data processor that they will continue to adhere to the certification requirements within the duration of the agreement.

With the UK GDPR adopting the framework of the EU GDPR, it also applies similar guidelines in the certification.

Through a GDPR training program, you can also reinforce principles and best practices in data protection among your employees in relation to their rights as individuals, as well as their responsibilities in protecting consumer data. This is especially important in departments that involve data processing activities such as HR and sales, 

The GDPR only certifies the data controller and the data processor, but it’s equally important that your employees stay informed and up-to-date with their responsibilities on GDPR compliance to reduce risks for the organization, as well as enable your employees to be proactive in protecting their data with knowledge on their rights as individuals. 

As part of your risk management, you can initiate an effective GDPR training program with EdApp to reinforce data protection principles and best practices. This Learning Management System (LMS) enables you to train your employees effectively with its microlearning features and engagement features that are proven to increase retention and course completion rates. 

GDPR Compliance and Certification - EdApp - Microlearning

In addition, EdApp’s course completion certification feature allows you to practice internal GDPR certification among your employees upon completion of your existing data protection courses that you can deploy across your teams, or, create on your own!

EdApp also offers hundreds of courses, including compliance training courses, such as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for Individuals course which is available for free in EdApp’s editable course library that you can readily deploy to your employees.