Tip #3/10 – the GDPR KISS – the new EU Data Protection Regulation

I am frustrated by the number of companies that say they do privacy, when they don’t know what ‘privacy’ is! Just because an consulting company states they have consultants on privacy projects, does not mean they are privacy experts. They are not lying, it’s just they don’t know themselves. Having said this, I ‘take my hat off’ to a couple of security consulting companies that are taking steps to proactively extend the skill-set of their consultants into privacy. But what does this mean?

Privacy, i.e. data protection, kept short and simple is what we all want…

Clearly the Regulation is not short and it is not simple. To try and implement a privacy program across your organization fueled by the stringent requirements of the Regulation is enough to keep any CxO awake at night. The punishment fine of 4% of global turnover is not being taken lightly by any of those I talk with. There is more confusion pertaining to, ‘well what does it mean’?

I’ve have touched on briefly in another post the fundamental building blocks of privacy, and the legal text is based upon these fundamental goals and principles. Hence despite the legal complexity of the GDPR it does offer hope for us normal guys and girls that don’t eat legal jargon for breakfast!

Just to recap, the Regulation is at its most basic level has 2 fundamental goals: 1) to facilitate the flow of personal data across national boarders within the EU, and 2) protect the rights of EU data subjects. Moreover it is founded on 8 -easy to understand- privacy principles that have been around since 1980 in the OECD Guidelines, and in fact these were originally adapted from US FIPPs (Fair Information Privacy Principles) defined in 1973.

These 8 principles are:

  • Collection Limitation – There should be limits to the collection of personal data and any such data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate with the knowledge or consent of the data subject;
  • Data Quality – Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which they are to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete and kept up-to-date;
  • Purpose Specification – The purposes for which personal data are collected should be specified not later than at the time of data collection and the subsequent use limited to the fulfillment of those purposes or such others as not incompatible with those purposes, and as are specified on each occasion of change of purpose;
  • Use Limitation – Personal data should not be disclosed, made available or otherwise used for purposes other than those specified in accordance with the Purpose Specification Principle except (a) with the consent of the data subject; or (b) by the authority of law:
  • Security Safeguards – Personal data should be protected by reasonable security safeguards against such risks as loss or unauthorised access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure;
  • Openness – There should be a general policy of openness about developments, practices and policies with respect to personal data. Means should be readily available of establishing the existence and nature of personal data, and the main purposes of their use, as well as the identity and usual residence of the data controller;
  • Individual Participation – An individual should have the right: (a) to obtain from a data controller, or otherwise, confirmation of whether or not the data controller has data relating to him; (b) to have communicated to him, data relating to him, within a reasonable time, at a charge, if any, that is not excessive, in a reasonable manner, and in a form that is readily intelligible to him; (c) to be given reasons if a request made under subparagraphs (a) and (b) is denied, and to be able to challenge such denial; and (d) to challenge data relating to him and, if the challenge is successful to have the data erased, rectified, completed or amended;
  • Accountability – A data controller should be accountable for complying with measures which give effect to the principles stated above.

Below is an embedded podcast which provides an intense view of the principles, along with some contextual help.



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