What is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?

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What is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?

Perhaps the most comprehensive data privacy standard to date, the GDPR presents a significant challenge for organizations that process the personal data of EU citizens – regardless of where the organization is headquartered.

Effective as of May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to improve personal data protections and increase organizational accountability for data breaches. With potential fines of up to four percent of global revenues or 20 million EUR (whichever is higher), the GDPR certainly has teeth. No matter where your organization is located, if it processes or controls the personal data of EU residents, it must be in compliance with GDPR, or it will be liable to significant fines and the requirement to inform affected parties of data breaches.

GDPR is expansive and includes the following Chapters and articles:

Chapter 1: General Provisions

  • Article 1: Subject matter and objectives
  • Article 2: Material scope
  • Article 3: Territorial scope
  • Article 4: Definitions

Chapter 2: Principles

  • Article 5: Principles relating to personal data processing
  • Article 6: Lawfulness of processing
  • Article 7: Conditions for consent
  • Article 8: Conditions applicable to child's consent in relation to information society services
  • Article 9: Processing of special categories of personal data
  • Article 10: Processing of data relating to criminal convictions and offences
  • Article 11: Processing which does not require identification

Chapter 3: Rights of the Data Subject

  • Section 1: Transparency and Modalities
  • Article 12: Transparent information, communication and modalities for the exercise of the rights of the data subject
  • Section 2: Information and Access to Data
  • Article 13: Information to be provided where personal data are collected from the data subject
  • Article 14: Information to be provided where personal data have not been obtained from the data subject
  • Article 15: Right of access by the data subject
  • Section 3: Rectification and Erasure
  • Article 16: Right to rectification
  • Article 17: Right to erasure ('right to be forgotten')
  • Article 18: Right to restriction of processing
  • Article 19: Notification obligation regarding rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing
  • Article 20: Right to data portability
  • Section 4: Right to object and automated individual decision making
  • Article 21: Right to object
  • Article 22: Automated individual decision-making, including profiling
  • Section 5: Restrictions
  • Article 23: Restrictions

Chapter 4: Controller and Processor

  • Section 1: General Obligations
  • Article 24: Responsibility of the controller
  • Article 25: Data protection by design and by default
  • Article 26: Joint controllers
  • Article 27: Representatives of controllers not established in the Union
  • Article 28: Processor
  • Article 29: Processing under the authority of the controller or processor
  • Article 30: Records of processing activities
  • Article 31: Cooperation with the supervisory authority
  • Section 2: Security of personal data
  • Article 32: Security of processing
  • Article 33: Notification of a personal data breach to the supervisory authority
  • Article 34: Communication of a personal data breach to the data subject
  • Section 3: Data protection impact assessment and prior consultation
  • Article 35: Data protection impact assessment
  • Article 36: Prior Consultation
  • Section 4: Data protection officer
  • Article 37: Designation of the data protection officer
  • Article 38: Position of the data protection officer
  • Article 39: Tasks of the data protection officer
  • Section 5: Codes of conduct and certification
  • Article 40: Codes of Conduct
  • Article 41: Monitoring of approved codes of conduct
  • Article 42: Certification
  • Article 43: Certification Bodies

Chapter 5: Transfer of personal data to third countries of international organizations

  • Article 44: General Principle for transfer
  • Article 45: Transfers of the basis of an adequacy decision
  • Article 46: Transfers subject to appropriate safeguards
  • Article 47: Binding corporate rules
  • Article 48: Transfers or disclosures not authorised by union law
  • Article 49: Derogations for specific situations
  • Article 50: International cooperation for the protection of personal data

Chapter 6: Independent Supervisory Authorities

  • Section 1: Independent status
  • Article 51: Supervisory Authority
  • Article 52: Independence
  • Article 53: General conditions for the members of the supervisory authority
  • Article 54: Rules on the establishment of the supervisory Authority
  • Section 2: Competence, Tasks, and Powers
  • Article 55: Competence
  • Article 56: Competence of the lead supervisory authority
  • Article 57: Tasks
  • Article 58: Powers
  • Article 59: Activity Reports

Chapter 7: Co-operation and Consistency

  • Section 1: Co-operation
  • Article 60: Cooperation between the lead supervisory authority and the other supervisory authorities concerned
  • Article 61: Mutual Assistance
  • Article 62: Joint operations of supervisory authorities
  • Section 2: Consistency
  • Article 63: Consistency mechanism
  • Article 64: Opinion of the Board
  • Article 65: Dispute resolution by the Board
  • Article 66: Urgency Procedure
  • Article 67: Exchange of information
  • Section 3: European Data Protection Board
  • Article 68: European Data Protection Board
  • Article 69: Independence
  • Article 70: Tasks of the Board
  • Article 71: Reports
  • Article 72: Procedure
  • Article 73: Chair
  • Article 74: Tasks of the Chair
  • Article 75: Secretariat
  • Article 76: Confidentiality

Chapter 8: Remedies, Liability, and Sanctions

  • Article 77: Right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority
  • Article 78: Right to an effective judicial remedy against a supervisory authority
  • Article 79: Right to an effective judicial remedy against a controller or processor
  • Article 80: Representation of data subjects
  • Article 81: Suspension of proceedings
  • Article 82: Right to compensation and liability
  • Article 83: General conditions for imposing administrative fines
  • Article 84: Penalties

Chapter 9: Provisions relating to specific data processing situations

  • Article 85: Processing and freedom of expression and information
  • Article 86: Processing and public access to official documents
  • Article 87: Processing of the national identification number
  • Article 88: Processing in the context of employment
  • Article 89: Safeguards and derogations relating to processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes
  • Article 90: Obligations of secrecy
  • Article 91: Existing data protection rules of churches and religious associations

Chapter 10: Delegated Acts and Implementing Acts

  • Article 92: Exercise of the delegation
  • Article 93: Committee procedure

Chapter 11: Final provisions

  • Article 94: Repeal of Directive 95/46/EC
  • Article 95: Relationship with Directive 2002/58/EC
  • Article 96: Relationship with previously concluded Agreements
  • Article 97: Commission Reports
  • Article 98: Review of other union legal acts on data protection
  • Article 99: Entry intro force and application

Key Provisions of Article 32

Some of the key provisions of the GDPR, Article 32 require:

  1. the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data;
  2. the ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services;
  3. the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident;
  4. a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organisational measures for ensuring the security of the processing.

Key Provisions of Article 34

Article 34 of the regulation details what an organization must do to avoid having to notify subjects in case of a breach.

  1. When the personal data breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, the controller shall communicate the personal data breach to the data subject without undue delay.
  2. The communication to the data subject referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall describe in clear and plain language the nature of the personal data breach ….
  3. The communication to the data subject referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be required if any of the following conditions are met:
    1. the controller has implemented appropriate technical and organisational protection measures, and those measures were applied to the personal data affected by the personal data breach, in particular those that render the personal data unintelligible to any person who is not authorised to access it, such as encryption;
    2. the controller has taken subsequent measures which ensure that the high risk to the rights and freedoms of data subjects referred to in paragraph 1 is no longer likely to materialise;
    3. it would involve disproportionate effort. In such a case, there shall instead be a public communication or similar measure whereby the data subjects are informed in an equally effective manner.

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