General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR Key Principles and Provisions for Privacy Rights and Protections

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents the maturation of European Union (EU) privacy law and provides a benchmark for all other privacy legislation. GDPR provides privacy rights for EU citizens so that they can control the use of their personal information by businesses, organizations, and governments. This regulation has worldwide implications as most organizations that have EU citizen data need to comply with its provisions.

The law was effective April 25, 2018, and provides for significant fines for non-compliance, up to €20M or 4% of global revenues. The legislation defines responsibilities via 99 articles that detail the specific responsibilities of organizations to support the data privacy, consent, and rights of EU citizens.  

What are the key principles of GDPR that should guide organizations’ privacy policies and practices?

  1. Have a lawful purpose for collecting an EU citizen’s data.
  2. Be clear on how data will be used.
  3. Limit the data held on EU citizens to only support the lawful use and stated purposes.
  4. Take reasonable measures to ensure that EU citizen data is accurate.
  5. Not store EU citizen data longer than needed for business purposes or required by policies.
  6. Ensure the integrity and security of EU citizen data.
  7. Take responsibility for the processing of EU citizen data.

What are the key provisions of GDPR that organizations need to fulfill?

  1. Have a lawful basis for processing citizen data such as a specific consent, contract, or legal obligation.
  2. Ensure data privacy rights are provided to EU citizens (right to be forgotten, right to access, erasure, restrict processing, etc.).
  3. Organizations demonstrate accountability and governance (with data protection by design, routine privacy assessments, assignment of a data protection officer, documentation of data use, etc.).
  4. Organizations should implement reasonable data security (with appropriate technical measures and controls, data encryption, user authentication, pseudonymization, and anonymization).
  5. Provide notification of breaches within 72 hours and have strong breach prevention controls and thorough response/investigation processes. 
  6. Restrict and ensure strong protection of data transferred outside the EU.

Here are additional resources to learn more about GDPR:

You just learned about GDPR, now explore related terms like CCPA, HIPAA, COPPA, and Privacy Shield.