On May 25, 2018, the European Union (E.U.) began to enforce brand new data protection standards. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was created to protect individuals’ personal information. GDPR is set in place to protect E.U. citizens, but businesses worldwide will feel the effects of these changes.
Global surveys found that 85% of U.S. companies believe GDPR compliance regulations place them at a disadvantage compared to their European counterparts. However, the same survey found that U.S. consumers believe companies should take further measures to protect their sensitive data. So, does the GDPR apply to your organization? Most likely, the answer is yes. Below is essential information pertaining to the GDPR, along with data privacy practices that your organization can implement to comply with GDPR.
What Is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of legal guidelines that determines the correct process for collecting and processing people’s personal information in the European Union (E.U.). These regulations apply to all websites that European visitors use, even if the products or services are not specifically for E.U. residents.
As per GDPR guidelines, companies or organizations must have a user’s consent before collecting and using their data. The GDPR defines personal information as any information that relates to “an identified or identifiable natural person.” Personal data includes the following information:
- Location data
- Health information
- Race or ethnicity
- Religious beliefs or political opinions
The GDPR was enacted to replace outdated data protection regulations in Europe that were created two decades ago. The European Union designed the GDPR to unify data privacy laws for all members of its countries. The GDPR also determines how organizations should manage the personal data of those who interact with their company. Organizations that fail to comply with these laws will be subject to hefty fines and reputational damage.
Does GDPR Affect My Company?
Ultimately, the GDPR exists to protect each individual’s data, which can be information that is easily accessible, such as a person’s online username. However, personal data also comprises more complex information, such as cookie identifiers or I.P. addresses.
The most important quality of personal data is that it allows organizations and companies to identify a person, and pseudonymized information still qualifies as personal data. The GDPR applies to all organizations that operate within the E.U., along with organizations that process personal data from E.U. residents. Essentially, if you have clients or customers in the E.U., it is of the utmost importance that your organization takes all the steps necessary to comply with GDPR.
The Best Practices for Data Privacy and Protection
Since the main priority of GDPR practices is protecting the client data, your organization should ensure that all sensitive data is processed in a secure manner. For most companies, this entails the creation of comprehensive data privacy policies and procedures. Implement the practices below for improved compliance with GDPR standards.
1. Create Data Privacy Policies and Procedures
Yoru company must have an established set of policies and procedures to comply with GDPR. The data protection policies and procedures that you implement should suit your business. Organizations must understand how the GDPR applies to their processes and systems.
To get started, understand thoroughly how your organization collects and processes data. This includes how your company collects, retains, and restricts data. You must also keep close track of the sensitive information that your company collects.
2. Maintain Protections When Client Data Is Transferred Outside the E.U.
When you’re working with third-party vendors that are processing data for your organization, ensure that the companies you work with comply with GDPR. Confirm their compliance by signing a data processing addendum (DPA), and keep a list of your third-party vendors access to the public.
If your company collects personal data from E.U. citizens, you will transfer outside the E.U. You must provide the same amount of data protection. While the European commission lists countries that provide an adequate level of security, keep in mind that they modify this list regularly.
3. Work with a Reputable ITAD Provider
While it’s crucial to adhere to GDPR, data breaches are steadily rising every year, with the average data breach costing companies $4.24 million. When companies enact strategies to prevent data leaks, they often overlook I.T. asset disposal (ITAD). During this process, a certified ITAD provider will work with you to take inventory of your electronic assets and dispose of your unwanted electronic devices in a secure and eco-friendly manner.
Reputable ITAD providers create a detailed chain of custody that tracks where your electronic assets are and who can access them, using the devices’ serial numbers. When it’s time to dispose of your electronic devices, ITAD providers will thoroughly wipe the devices of all company data so that your company’s confidential information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. From there, ITAD providers will dispose of your company’s e-waste ethically to ensure that the toxic chemicals within the electronic devices do not pollute the environment.
Protect Client and Customer Data with FAMCe
Partnering with the right ITAD provider is a critical component of protecting sensitive client and company data. Certified, reputable ITAD providers ensure that your company disposes of your company’s electronic devices the right way. So when it’s time to get rid of your old electronics, choose a partner you can rely on.
Our reputable e-waste recyclers at First America have the expertise, experience, and certifications necessary to take care of all your company’s electronic needs. With over 30 years of experience helping businesses safely and responsibly recycle their outdated devices, our track record speaks for itself. First America’s high level of expertise and exceptional customer service have built our reputation as an industry leader, and we are committed to exceeding each client’s needs and expectations.
With multiple locations nationwide, First America is ready to cater to all your computer recycling needs. If you want to recycle your old devices with confidence, contact First America today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.