The 9 Key GDPR Data Protection Principles

There has been a lot of noise regarding GDPR compliance lately. The first massive fines have been issued and the EU commission hasn’t gone easy on anyone. When you look at the total amount of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) penalties, which is €175,944,866 for just about one year of its enforcement, this law is quite scary. And for a reason. It can be difficult to understand GDPR and all of its clauses at first.

You would need to hire an IT and law expert and completely change your company’s direction regarding consumer rights and data security. However, you could also just hire a customer support helpdesk that is 100% compliant with the GDPR data policy and never worry about it again.

This is the first EU data protection law since 1995 when the EU officially imposed the Data Protection Directive. GDPR brings many changes and makes the overall data protection more strict. Thus, here there is no room for avoiding compliance or you will end up paying hefty fines of thousands and thousands of euros. But GDPR has not been put in place just to impose fines, it is there to make the overall data protection processes safer and more justified.

The following key data protection principles under the EU GDPR will help you safeguard your customer data, make your customers happy, maintain high revenue, and comply with the EU law. We know that you are busy with growing your business, which is why we have gone through the heavy GDPR data protection principles clauses for you. So let’s check them out!

1. Lawfulness

The first key GDPR data protection principle is lawfulness. Here, if you collect, process, and store data of EU citizens, you need to comply with all the GDPR requirements, otherwise, you will be breaking the law. You simply need to have legally justified purposes of data processes so you can operate without thinking an EU official will knock on your door.

However, GDPR has described all the necessary steps to optimize your data protection policy management. The experts in the data security field worked for years to create the best possible techniques so you can conduct business operations in a safer environment. Thus, make sure that you establish protocols that keep your business data far from cyberattackers!

2. Fairness

Before you start collecting any customer data you need to make sure that you have consent for it. It is required to create questionnaires that discuss any type of customer data you are planning to collect. You are expected to explain to your customers what the purposes are for collecting and sharing their Personal Identifiable Information (PII). You need  to provide them with a clear notice, so there is no confusion or validity claims.

When they give you their PII, the only thing left is to stick to your promises. Whether you are a data controller or data processor, your actions need to match up the instructions described to the data subjects. The GDPR data controller can be a legal or natural person, public authority, agency, and any other body, which is solely responsible or shares responsibility with others, that defines purposes and methods of processing of PII.

On the other hand, data processors are the bodies that process customer data on behalf of the data controller. They may have different functions, but they both need to be fair and respect the decisions of data subjects they received valuable PII.

3. Transparency

Transparency is a GDPR data protection principle that is all about making your notice clear and updated. Yes, that is right, it is not enough to give consent once and then make multiple changes to data collection as you like. The use of PPI is changing following your company’s needs and market innovations. To stay updated, you may need to update your data privacy, too.

Thus, it is extremely important to keep data collection, processing and storing completely transparent to ensure you have consent for each new data action you may take. But this GDPR data protection principle doesn’t help you only with GDPR compliance. It enables you to develop strong customer relationships that can be as old as your company is.

Transparency builds trust. You need to be clear over who has access to their data and how you are going to use it. Even when you make a mistake, you should be honest about it. Loyal customers will stay with you. However, even new customers would see that you are a trustworthy company and will be more content regarding the sharing of their data.

4. Purpose limitation

This GDPR data protection principle mandates determining the purpose of data usage. When you define it and get a consent for it, the purpose becomes legitimate. Thus, here you need to communicate the data collection and be as direct as possible when describing specific company needs.

Besides asking for a consent in the pre-collecting notice, you also need to describe the purpose of such an action. As the legislation stated, the purpose must be “specified, explicit, and legitimate.” Therefore, the customer data can be used only for the purposes you have previously introduced to your customers. Every unauthorized activity will be considered as a data misuse.

5. Data minimization

GDPR is designed to make the data collection as minimal as possible. This intention is covered under data minimization principle. This GDPR data protection principle is committed to ensuring companies collect only data that is “adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.”

Considering that to comply with the GDPR you will need to justify the amount of data collected, this may be a smart move. Additionally, you are reducing the risk of having numerous data graveyards, which are nothing other than millions of data records you don’t need at the moment and most likely will never use it again.

6. Accuracy

This GDPR data protection principle helps you say goodbye to your messy data storage by telling you to delete inaccurate data. Most often, customers change their home addresses and phone numbers.

Hence, if you want your marketing campaigns as well as your customer service to be fruitful you need to update your customer data regularly. Similarly, you shouldn't retain the old and outdated contacts that are no longer your clients’. As stated in the GDPR policy, PII must be “accurate and where necessary kept up to date”.

7. Storage limitation

The next GDPR data protection principle relates to data storage time minimization. Under the GDPR policy, it is forbidden to store customer data longer than necessary. This refers to limited PPI as well. You are allowed to keep the data in a form that disables any chance for identifying specific customers. Define the data retention period in the beginning and document it. This is how you will justify that the data storage is necessary, and therefore lawful.

8. Integrity and confidentiality

The GDPR data protection principle of integrity and confidentiality ensures that you have the highest levels of data security. It requires you to handle personal data in a manner that ensures appropriate security. You need to deploy protocols that are responsible for protecting from unlawful processing or accidental data loss or damage far from your business scope.

To guarantee integrity and confidentiality, you should establish data anonymization and pseudonymization. While anonymization implies a total encryption of the PPI which can never be recovered, pseudonymization relates to partially de-identified data, which by adding some extra details can be easily recovered. To ensure the confidentiality of your data, you need them both!

9. Accountability

Once you have incorporated and taken action toward all the GDPR data protection principles, you must make sure you have documented them all correctly. The new law requires you to have a thorough and robust collection of GDPR requirements compliance to be prepared to demonstrate the needed documents at any time authorities may ask you to. Every data step needs to be carefully formulated in the official document form to become justified and legitimate.

We hope these GDPR data protection principles have been helpful. However, if this sounds like a bad opportunity cost, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Helpy team! We have a new generation helpdesk software that can take GDPR compliance off your plate, freeing up your time to focus on running your business.

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