Your GDPR checklist for 2023
What will GDPR compliance mean in 2023? Here is a GDPR checklist to get your privacy and compliance program started for the new year.
1. Identify your data
The first step to GDPR compliance is to identify the personal data you collect and store. This includes any personal data from customers, employees, or other individuals. Classify the data by sensitivity level. Ask:
- What type of data is it?
- What is the purpose of collecting and storing this data?
- How long have I had it?
- Who has access to it?
- Who will it be shared with?
- Tell people what kinds of data are collected, how, and why
- Show how data is processed and kept safely
- Explain users’ rights
- Be up to date
- Provide contact information
- Let people know how they can make a complaint, if needed
3. Implement technical and procedural data security measures
You should also implement security measures and policies to protect the data you collect. These can include:
- Strong passwords
- Virus protection
- Building security
- Device security
- DPIAs (Data Protection Impact Assessments)
- Policies for data deletion and disposal of paperwork
- Other policies to prevent unauthorized access to the data
- Regular updates to your systems and databases
4. Train Employees
Now, train your employees to follow your policies and use the technical security solutions you’ve chosen correctly. Make sure everyone understands the importance of data security and privacy. Make training sessions regular and brief. Include the following topics in your awareness training:
- Password selection and management
- Recognizing personal data
- Phishing variations and how to spot them
- Understanding Privacy Rights
- GDPR principles and compliance
- Caring for sensitive data
- How to practice data minimization
- Email security mistakes
- Using shared wifi and VPNs
- Software updates and security
- Keeping work devices safe
- Remote workplace security
- Reporting mistakes, breaches and leaks
5. Monitor compliance
Finally, you should regularly monitor your compliance with GDPR to make sure you (and everyone on your team) are putting your policies into practice. You should also stay up to date on any changes to regulations that affect your company, then ensure your processes continue to be in line with new requirements.
Is this GDPR compliance checklist complete?
The fact is, there is no such thing as a perfect, foolproof GDPR checklist. All businesses and their data collection activities are different. Further, the GDPR itself deliberately uses ambiguous and open-ended language, for several reasons:
- Personal data has a broad definition.
- The types of personal data companies collect will vary.
- The roles and responsibilities of your company as a data controller may change.
- Appropriate security measures and technology can change.
- New security threats may emerge.
This ambiguity in regulations and the constantly evolving world we work in both make it impossible to create a GDPR checklist that can guarantee perfect compliance.
However, that is not an excuse to sit back, do nothing, and just hope for the best. Take action. Start with the steps above. Going through them carefully will certainly put you ahead of the game and on the right track for compliance in 2023.
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