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Make GDPR work to your advantage

In a world that is constantly connected and data-driven, the protection of personal data is essential for any business. The EU’s GDPR is not just a set of rules; it is a key to maintaining trust and accountability. This blog focuses on how compliance with the GDPR not only shows an effort to follow data legislation, but also that you strengthen your company’s reputation as a reliable and responsible operator as a data processor.

Benefits for an individual

It is not just companies that benefit from the GDPR. General EU citizens also have several benefits from the data regulation. For an individual, GDPR offers, among other things, following:

1. More control
GDPR gives citizens greater control over their personal data. Citizens have the right to access their personal data, the right to request corrections, erasure and restriction of the use of their data, and the right to withdraw their consent. This allows citizens to control who has access to their data and how it is used.

2. Security
The GDPR requires companies and organisations to have appropriate technical and organisational measures in place to protect personal data from unauthorised access and data breaches. This means that citizens can feel more secure in providing their personal data, knowing that their data is protected against misuse and unauthorised access.

3. Transparency
GDPR requires companies and organisations to be more transparent about how they collect and use personal data. This means that citizens have the right to know how their data is being used and who has access to it. GDPR also requires companies and organisations to be responsible for protecting personal data and complying with the rules, increasing trust and security for citizens.

4. Consent requirement
The GDPR requires that companies and organisations must obtain the citizen’s consent before they collect, use or share personal data. This means that citizens have a greater opportunity to make informed decisions about whether or not they want to provide their data.

5. Appeal option
The GDPR allows citizens to file complaints if they believe their personal data has been misused or not properly protected. This means that citizens have a way to protect their rights and ensure that companies and organisations comply with GDPR regulations.

But what positive effects does GDPR have on your company?

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The advantage companies can gain from GDPR

GDPR compliance can be a significant task for businesses. However, there are a number of potential advantages of GDPR:

1. Improved data handling
GDPR requires companies to have a clear understanding of what data they have, where it came from and how it is used. By implementing these requirements, companies can improve their data management practices and gain a better understanding of their data assets.

2. Increased trust and customer loyalty
By implementing GDPR, companies can demonstrate that they take data protection seriously and are committed to protecting their customers’ personal information. This can lead to increased trust and loyalty among customers, which can be a significant competitive advantage.

3. Reduced risk of data breaches
The GDPR requires companies to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect personal data against unauthorised access or accidental loss. By implementing these measures, companies can reduce the risk of data breaches, which can be costly and damage their reputation.

4. Streamlined business processes
GDPR requires companies to review their data processing activities and implement new processes where necessary. This can help companies identify inefficiencies and streamline their business processes, leading to improved performance and reduced costs.

5. Increased global reach
The GDPR applies to any company that processes personal data about EU citizens, regardless of where the company is based. By complying with the GDPR, companies can expand their global reach and demonstrate their commitment to data protection to a wider audience.

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How you take advantage of GDPR

The way you take advantage of the benefits of complying with privacy regulations is about showing the world that you prioritise protecting people’s sensitive information. You can do this in several ways:

1. Write it in your privacy policy
You should have a clear and comprehensive privacy policy that describes how you collect, process and protect personal data. This policy should be available on the company website and other relevant platforms. By having a clear privacy policy, you show your commitment to protecting personal data.

2. Let the employees show your privacy commitment
Awareness training demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to data protection. It signals to the outside world that you take personal data seriously. When employees know what to do with personal data, it is reflected in the way they meet the outside world. This directly helps to strengthen the company’s credibility.

3. Communicate your privacy measures actively
You should dedicate internal resources to communicating how you comply with privacy regulations. If you have appointed a DPO, part of his duties should revolve around communicating compliance externally to show that you prioritise the data protection rules. The communication can be different data protection measures you take, or new collaborations, such as if the company consults a privacy expert or lawyer. All privacy communication helps to show that you take data protection seriously.

4. Enable people to send privacy data to you securely
Implementing a secure method for how contacts can transfer personal data to you demonstrates that you prioritise privacy. By using an encrypted connection, you can signal that customers and users can safely send personal data to you without worrying about data being leaked along the way. This helps to create a strong relationship with your contacts.

5. Display certifications
Some companies choose to obtain certifications or approvals related to privacy and data protection. There are various international standards and certifications, such as ISO 27001 (information security) and ISO 27701 (personal data protection), which can serve as confirmation of the company’s compliance with privacy and data protection standards. Certificates can be implemented in your email signature and on your website, among other things.

Comply with GDPR the easy way

Although compliance with the GDPR is a large and continuous task, in the end it is in many ways a win-win situation – both for the people you deal with and you as a company. Customers, employees and other contacts of your company will have their rights protected and secured, while you will have a more streamlined workflow and experience trust from the outside world. Read more about complying with GDPR here. At Safe Online, we develop tools designed to make it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to comply with GDPR. See our solutions here:

DataMapper – Find your sensitive data
ShareSimple – Send and receive data securely in Outlook
RequestManager – Process data subject requests easily

Sebastian Allerelli

Founder & COO at Safe Online
Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
Follow me on LinkedIn to get tips on GDPR →

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