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GDPR’s Seven Fundamental Principles

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) forms the basis for personal data processing within the EU and EEA. With the introduction of these regulations, stringent guidelines were established for how companies should handle personal data. The seven fundamental principles of the GDPR are crucial to ensure lawful, fair, and transparent processing of personal data. Every organization that processes the personal data of EU citizens must understand and implement these principles to prevent legal sanctions and to build trust with customers and partners. This article highlights these principles and their practical significance for maintaining and enhancing a company’s data protection standards.

The Seven Fundamental Principles:

  1. Legality, fairness, and transparency
    • Personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject.
  2. Purpose limitation
    • Data must be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.
  3. Data minimization
    • Only collect personal data that is adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which they are processed.
  4. Accuracy
    • Personal data must be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.
  5. Storage limitation
    • Personal data should only be stored as long as necessary for the purposes for which the data was collected or for which it is subsequently processed.
  6. Integrity and confidentiality
    • Personal data must be processed in a way that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unauthorized or unlawful processing and against loss or destruction.
  7. Accountability
    • The data controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with, the above principles.

GDPR Compliance: Essential Best Practices and Proactive Tips for Organizational Data Protection

  1. Regular Training: Ensure that staff receive regular training on GDPR and understand the importance of compliance. This should include what constitutes personal data, how to handle it securely, and what to do in case of a data breach.
  2. Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs): Conduct DPIAs for processing activities that are likely to result in a high risk to individuals’ rights and freedoms. DPIAs help in identifying and mitigating risks.
  3. Data Minimization: Collect only the data that is strictly necessary for the purposes you have clearly defined and communicated to the data subject. Avoid storing data “just in case” it may be useful in the future.
  4. Privacy by Design and by Default: Embed privacy into the design of new products, services, and processes from the outset, and ensure that the strictest privacy settings automatically apply to all new accounts.
  5. Clear Privacy Notices: Provide clear and accessible information to individuals about how their data will be used, who it will be shared with, and how long it will be kept.
  6. Data Subject Rights: Have procedures in place to respond to individuals’ requests regarding their data rights, such as the right of access, right to rectification, right to erasure (‘right to be forgotten’), and right to data portability.
  7. Data Breach Response: Prepare an effective response plan for data breaches. This should include notifying the relevant supervisory authority and, where applicable, the data subjects in case of a breach.
  8. Data Transfer Mechanisms: If transferring data outside the EU/EEA, ensure appropriate legal transfer mechanisms are in place, such as Standard Contractual Clauses or an adequacy decision for the country to which data is being transferred.
  9. Vendor Management: Ensure that all third parties that process personal data on your behalf (processors) are compliant with GDPR. This includes having detailed contracts and conducting due diligence on their data protection measures.
  10. Keep Records of Processing Activities: Maintain detailed records of data processing activities, including the purpose of processing, data sharing, and retention. This helps in demonstrating compliance with the GDPR’s accountability principle.
  11. Regular Audits and Reviews: Conduct regular audits to ensure policies are being followed and review procedures frequently to maintain compliance as laws, technologies, and organizational processes change.
  12. Encryption and Pseudonymization: Implement measures like encryption and pseudonymization to protect personal data and reduce the risks involved in data processing activities.

Staying informed about guidance from data protection authorities and changes in legal interpretations or technology will also help ensure that you are always practicing the most up-to-date measures for GDPR compliance.

Technical Advisory for Data Protection

Integrating and complying with GDPR principles is an ongoing process that requires technical precision and up-to-date knowledge of data protection practices. Aivaton is available to provide expertise in technical advisory to ensure that your organization or your company’s products and services are in compliance with applicable data protection regulations.

Contact us to discuss how we can assist in your pursuit of GDPR compatibility.

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