GDPR: What is it? What does the Data Protection Act include?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) harmonizes the rights and obligations of all European Union Member States regarding the processing...
5 October 2022

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GDPR: What is it? What does the Data Protection Act include?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) harmonizes the rights and obligations of all European Union Member States regarding the processing of personal data. It also reinforces security, privacy and transparency.

Not knowing the implications of this regulation and incurring in the breach of the obligations regarding the protection, processing and transmission of personal data can lead to large financial penalties. Given its importance, we would like to talk to you about what the GDPR is and how it affects privacy and security.

What does GDPR stand for?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in the European Union (EU) that came into effect on May 25th, 2018. The GDPR replaces the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive and strengthens EU data protection laws. 

Who does GDPR apply to?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to any organization that processes the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the organization is located. This includes companies based within the EU as well as companies based outside the EU if they offer goods or services to EU citizens or monitor their behavior.

GDPR applies to a wide range of organizations, including businesses of all sizes, public sector organizations, and non-profit organizations. It is applicable to any organization that processes personal data, including the collection, storage, use, and deletion of that data. This can include activities such as collecting personal data through a website, storing data in a customer database, or using data for marketing purposes.

What is GDPR?

Why was GDPR introduced?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced to give EU citizens more control over their personal data and to strengthen and modernize EU data protection laws

The previous EU data protection framework, the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, was no longer considered adequate in light of the rapid development of technology and the increasing amount of personal data being collected, stored, and processed.

Because of thar, the new law was introduced to address these developments and to ensure that EU citizens’ personal data is protected in a consistent and effective way across the EU. 

With its introduction, EU citizens have more rights and control over their personal data, such as the right to be informed, the right of access, the right to rectification, the right to erasure, and the right to data portability.


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The GDPR also adresses the challenges of the digital era and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. With the growth of e-commerce and the increasing use of the internet for business, it was important to have a consistent set of data protection rules across the EU to make it easier for companies to operate and to give consumers confidence in the security of their personal data.

Overall, GDPR was introduced to strengthen the personal data protection rights of EU citizens, to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU and to address the challenges of the digital era.

how to comply with gdpr

How to comply with GDPR?

Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires organizations, companies and institutions to take a number of steps to protect the personal data of EU citizens. 

Here are some key steps that organizations can take to comply with the GDPR:

  1. Conduct a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) to identify and address any potential risks to personal data and implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure compliance with the GDPR.
  2. Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO): Organizations that process large amounts of personal data, or that process sensitive data, are required to appoint a DPO to oversee data protection compliance.
  3. Document your data processing activities: Organizations must maintain records of their data processing activities, including information about the categories of personal data being processed, the purposes of the processing, and the security measures in place to protect that data.
  4. Implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data, such as encryption, firewalls, and regular backups.
  5. Provide transparency and information to data subjects about the data being collected, the purposes for which it will be used, and the rights that data subjects have under the GDPR.
  6. Respond to data subject access requests within one month and provide data subjects with a copy of their personal data in a commonly used format.
  7. Notify data breaches: Organizations must notify the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of becoming aware of a data breach, and must also inform the affected data subjects if the breach poses a high risk to their rights and freedoms.
  8. Regularly review and update your data protection policies to ensure ongoing compliance with the GDPR.

It’s important to remember that GDPR compliance is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Organizations should regularly review their data protection policies and procedures and update them as necessary to ensure ongoing compliance with the GDPR. Additionally, seeking professional help from experienced GDPR consultants or lawyers could be beneficial for organizations to ensure compliance.

Aware of these implications, at Smowltech, we have developed proctoring products that ensure respect and compliance with the GDPR in your online monitoring processes. 

Request a free demo and discover why we are leaders in our sector.


Download now!

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