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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. It was adopted on 14 April 2016, and after a two-year transition period, becomes enforceable on 25 May 2018.
The following information is taken from the Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the Information Commissioners Office in the UK, which is released under a Open Government Licence v3.0.
Principles of the GDPR
Under the GDPR, the data protection principles set out the main responsibilities for organisations.
Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data shall be:
- a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;
- b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;
- c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
- d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay;
- e) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and
- f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.
- the controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles.
What information does the GDPR apply to?
The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.
Sensitive personal data
Special category data is personal data which the GDPR says is more sensitive, and so needs more protection.
- ethnic origin
- trade union membership
- biometrics (where used for ID purposes)
- sex life
- sexual orientation
Criminal offence data
The Data Protection Bill deals with this type of data in a similar way to special category data, and sets out specific conditions providing lawful authority for processing it.
What are the lawful bases for processing?
You can only process personal information if you have:
- Consent: the individual has given clear consent for you to process their personal data for a specific purpose.
- Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
- Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).
- Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.
- Public task: the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.
- Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for your legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. (This cannot apply if you are a public authority processing data to perform your official tasks.)
- The right of access
- The right to rectification
- The right to erasure
- The right to restrict processing
- The right to data portability
- The right to object
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.
- Accountability and governance
- Data protection by design and default
- Data protection officers
- Codes of conduct and certification
- Guide to the data protection fee
- International transfers
- REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation). Published under the terms of COMMISSION DECISION of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of Commission documents (2011/833/EU)
- Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the Information Commissioners Office in the UK, which is released under a Open Government Licence v3.0.
- Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Data Protection by Design Framework. Published under Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution - NoDerivs CC BY - ND license. The most recent version of the Data Protection by Design Framework is available on www.privacycompany.eu.
- Overview of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Published under Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution - NoDerivs CC BY - ND license. The most recent version of the Data Protection by Design Framework is available on www.privacycompany.eu.
- Guidelines on the right to data portability16/EN WP 242 rev.01 ARTICLE 29 DATA PROTECTION WORKING PARTY. Published under the terms of COMMISSION DECISION of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of Commission documents (2011/833/EU)