Most small business owners and entrepreneurs start their venture with a vision and a desire to take control over their activities, time, finances and future. Very few realize in the early days that the administrative and regulatory burden imposed on them by the government is time consuming, expensive and thus distractive.
Data and privacy protection is one of the novel showpieces of European Regulators. As such, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides for the legal framework protecting the personal data of natural persons in the EEA. It applies to any enterprise, regardless of its location, as long as it processes personal information of individuals in the EEA.
It is nothing new that business owners are used by authorities and regulators as an extension to perform public and administrative duties. As an unpaid civil servant, the business owner is obliged to collect value added taxes from its clients, whilst administering financial transactions, to ultimately transfer taxable earnings to the authorities.
GDPR Regulation protects the personal data and privacy of natural persons whilst ensuring an equivalent level of protection of natural persons and the free flow of personal data throughout the Union. It also imposes administrative duties on enterprises. These duties allow enterprises to provide evidence to supervisory authorities of compliance with the six data protection principles of the GDPR. Evidence is important when supervisory authorities investigate data breaches and other potential GDPR breaches.
Benefits of data and privacy protection
The objective of any business is to become a stable and profitable enterprise. Without stability and profitability, all other business goals are obsolete. Therefore, compliance with regulation such as the GDPR should contribute to the corporate commercial motives of the company.
Marketing and customer acquisition are the backbone of commercial success. In an era where data leaks and breaches, identity theft and piracy is on the rise, online privacy becomes critical. Consumers become increasingly hesitant to share their personal information with strangers. As such, compliance with data protection rules for trust based commercial activities are expected to yield strong results.
One of the objectives of the GDPR is to ensure harmonization of data protection regulation within the European Economic Area. Even though there may be minimal differences in the individual member states, GDPR compliance works via a single point of entry. This means that compliance in one of the member states enables swift and easy access to the others.
Harmonization of laws in different jurisdictions creates a uniform framework for cross-country and virtual matters. Harmonization thus delivers legal certainty for the parties involved. This is beneficial for entrepreneurs who target (potential) international customers or suppliers. Consequently, uniform legislation ensures an effective framework that allows for efficient compliance by the enterprises the rules apply to.
Another advantage for established businesses is that the appropriate use of data protection tools results in compliance with the GDPR in an efficient and effective way. That way, valuable time can be allocated towards the core activities of your business. And when incidents occur, data protection tools and assistance can help to swiftly inform data subjects, protect the internal environment from future breaches, and share the appropriate information with the supervisory authority.
Although a bit of a negative approach, GDPR compliance mitigates regulatory intervention and limits the risk of civil claims from data subjects. Altogether, GDPR for businesses is more than just an active approach towards regulation. In particular, those who use the Regulation to their advantage can reap the rewards.
Lawful grounds for data processing
A common misconception is that the GDPR for businesses prohibits handling personal data of individuals. In fact, the regulation merely provides for the enforceable do’s and don’ts of data processing and controlling.
European regulation is detailed and complex. Legalize may lead to misconceptions and misunderstanding. Definitions of parts of the regulation are explained in the articles and recitals of the Regulation. Further clarification is provided by caselaw and rulings of the European Court.
Any enterprise that deals with the personal data of individuals in the EEA is, in principle, subject to data protection regulation via the GDPR. For businesses this means that even when a customer or other stakeholder is a corporate legal entity, the personal data of identifiable natural persons involved must be protected. The GDPR addresses processors and (joint) controllers of personal data. As such, GDPR for businesses involves more than just the protection of natural persons as customers.
Compliance with the GDPR regulation combines general date protection with directives such as the European e-Privacy directive. It follows that legitimate grounds for data processing include consent, contractual necessity, legal obligation, vital interest, public interest and legitimate interest. The context under which data is collected helps to understand the framework further.
Data Protection and GDPR for Businesses
Everyone values privacy. Prior to the implementation of a binding regulation on data protection, most business owners had some safeguards in place to protect customer data. These individual precautions do not always justify a clear, complete and concise solution for potential data breaches. In an era where data leaks, hacking and identity fraud – to name a few – gains altitude, businesses are vulnerable for abuse.
The adoption and enforceability of the binding GDPR for businesses placed a further burden on internal business management and administration of enterprises. To avoid violations and possible investigation by the supervisory authorities, investments in time, effort, staff and tools are unavoidable. Non-compliance initiates responsibility and may even cause liability. The result is that business owners cannot pretend that data protection rules do not apply to them. Therefore GDPR for businesses is now an essential part of the internal organization.
GDPR for Businesses is real and requires smart, efficient and effective solutions. The implementation should save time, prevent headaches, limit costs, and in the unforeseen event that a supervisory authority probes the books of your organization, mitigates the consequences of regulatory intervention.
GDPR Software Solutions cannot predict the future. However, history shows that administrative burdens imposed on businesses never disappear but merely grow to extreme proportions. The hallmarks
What GDPR solutions are available: GDPR for Businesses must comply with the international data and privacy regulation, whilst ensuring that unforeseen breaches are handled appropriately. This also means that when a supervisory authority gets involved because of a potential violation, breach support and communication with the authority must be warranted. GDPR Software Solutions offers you both: KDM Shield that includes an info center, mission control and toolbox for all your day to day GDPR challenges; and KDM Data Breach Support that helps you when things go wrong and mitigate potential risk for the business and its owner.
Who is this for: GDPR for Businesses is tailormade for serious small business owners. These professionals have an established business with customers, prospects, suppliers and/or other stakeholders in the European Economic Area. Their business is important for them, and the allocation of available time and resources requires a cost-efficient and effective solution. If this description fits your corporate profile as well, then do not disqualify yourself and start today to become GDPR compliant.
Why must you act now: GDPR Regulation is a binding legal framework that applies to any enterprise, regardless of its location, that processes personal information of individuals inside the EEA. Compliance is not a choice, it is mandatory.
What to do next: Follow this link for an exact description of the available GDPR Solutions for Businesses.