Like the Data Protection Act, the General Data Protection Regulation applies to ‘personal data’. However, the GDPR’s definition is more detailed and makes it clear that information such as an online identifier – eg an IP address – can be personal data. The more expansive definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people.
For most organisations, keeping HR records, customer lists, or contact details etc, the change to the definition should make little practical difference. You can assume that if you hold information that falls within the scope of the DPA, it will also fall within the scope of the GDPR.
The GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems where personal data are accessible according to specific criteria. This is wider than the DPA’s definition and could include chronologically ordered sets of manual records containing personal data.
Preparing for GDPR
You should make sure that decision makers and key people in your organisation are aware that the law is changing to the GDPR. They need to appreciate the impact this is likely to have.
Information you hold
You should document what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You may need to organise an information audit.
Communicating privacy information
You should check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have, including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format.
Subject access requests
You should update your procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales and provide any additional information.
Lawful basis for processing personal data
You should identify the lawful basis for your processing activity in the GDPR, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it.
You should review how you seek, record and manage consent and whether you need to make any changes. Refresh existing consents now if they don’t meet the GDPR standard.
You should start thinking now about whether you need to put systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent for any data processing activity.
You should make sure you have the right procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.
Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments
You should familiarise yourself now with the ICO’s code of practice on Privacy Impact Assessments as well as the latest guidance from the Article 29 Working Party, and work out how and when to implement them in your organisation.
Data Protection Officers
You should designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance and assess where this role will sit within your organisation’s structure and governance arrangements. You should consider whether you are required to formally designate a Data Protection Officer.
If your organisation operates in more than one EU member state (ie you carry out cross-border processing), you should determine your lead data protection supervisory authority. Article 29 Working Party guidelines will help you do this.
Designed to help you get your house in order, ready for the new legislation. Includes getting to grips with the new rights of individuals, handling subject access requests, consent, data breaches, and designating a data protection officer, under the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation.