GDPR Checklist

The Most Comprehensive EU GDPR Checklist

GDPR ChecklistThis GDPR checklist has been crafted in according to the GDPR compliance. Moreover, this is the only GDPR checklist you will ever need.

Before going through the GDPR checklist, it is important to repeat some basic steps. The first starting point is to know about the general rights that your customers/users will have:

Data subject rights: these are rights of your customers and users under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data portability: the right of an individual under the GDPR to transfer their data to other data controllers. Essentially, this means that consumers can move from one company to another through quick and efficient data transfer

The right to be forgotten: customers/users can ask you to delete all their data

The right to prevent profiling: this can be through automated decision-making or through other forms of decision-making, that processes personal data of an individual and reaches conclusions about that individuals.

The right to object to processing: your customers can restrict you from processing any category of their data that you have.

The right to rectification and erasure: this refers to editing data and restricting access to certain types of data.

Subject access requests (“SARs”): these are requests that your customer/user can make at any point in time asking you for data that you have on them and how it is used.

Reiterating the Basic GDPR steps

First, take stock of all the data that you are collecting and processing. If you are a controller, ask yourself why you are collecting this data as a guiding principle. If you are a processor, ask yourself: on whose behalf are you collecting this data. This is the most crucial part of our GDPR checklist.

  1. Appoint a DPO:

A Data Protection Officer can be internal or external to your company. If you appoint someone internally, make sure they have autonomy as well as access to the Managing Directors and upper management. This is primarily so that they can carry out their data protection duties and responsibilities independently without undue stress and blockades. Once this is done, sign an agreement with the relevant person. One prerequisite for assigning a Data Protection Officer, according to the legislation, is that it should be someone with a reasonable capacity for the job. That means your DPO should have a comprehensive understanding of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

It is necessary that you appoint a Data Protection Officer DPO:

1.1. If your organization’s core business includes processing massive amounts of personal data as well as monitoring your users or as is known in GDPR lingo: Data Subjects. Personal data is the following types of data:

  • Data that allows for direct identification of information such as a person’s name, surname, phone numbers among others.
  • Pseudonymous data or data that non-directly identifies the information of a Data Subject: which does not allow the direct identification of users but allows the singling out of individual behaviors for example through targeted advertising:  to serve the right ad to the right user at the right moment.

1.2. When your organization deals with a large amount of sensitive data that is one of the following data:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person
  • Data concerning health or a natural person’s sex life and/or sexual orientation

2. Data-mapping:

The second most important part of the GDPR checklist is to make a map of all the data and specify all the departments that touch the data in its collection and processing. The data that is being used needs to be categorized for its legal basis to become clear. The legal basis could be consent, legitimate interest and contractual necessity among others.

To assess where data is traveling through you need to create a mind-map for it to help guide your processes of compliance.

3. You should make sure to document all aspects of your company’s interactions with data. Here are the questions you should be able to answer:

Why was the data gathered in the first place? What is its purpose?

Upon what legal basis are you justifying holding that data? Consent or legal requirements?

3.1. Record of Processing Activities will be under this step.

Think of all the steps in your mind-mapping process. Who has access to the data at each step? Through documenting your processes, you will have a much clearer and a better understanding of your own company’s data collection and management strategies as well as what the compliance process entails for you. One definite piece of documentation that you need to do is a data protection impact assessment (DPIA).

3.2. Vendor Management

How are you protecting that data from breaches? What else is that data being used for? Make sure you have listed all your vendors and your customers/users know that you are sharing their data with other parties.

4. Data Breaches

Be honest and transparent about any data you collect. In the case of a breach, people will disclose any data they gather. Your customers need to be aware of what data you’re storing. Here you can read more about how modern businesses need to think about data: https://hbr.org/2015/05/customer-data-designing-for-transparency-and-trust

Security breaches that target the data that your company collects and processes can take place and need to be dealt with along the guidelines provided by the GDPR. The crucial point under the GDPR is to inform your user/customers of the breach. Given the importance the EU has placed on personal data, this does not come as a surprise that the relevant stakeholders be made aware when their data has been touched by, no matter how briefly, by other parties that did not have authorization through consent. In such a case, the relevant Data Protection Regulatory body must be informed within 72 hours of knowing about it at the latest.

The same time limit applies to the data subjects whose data you collect and use. The company must contact all individuals and make them aware that their data has been breached. However, companies do not need to have this measure or practice in place: if the data has been encrypted to the point of being incomprehensible or if the data controller has taken the necessary steps to make sure the breach doesn’t put rights or freedoms at risk. If it would take an unprecedented effort to contact every Data Subject individually then a public announcement would also fulfill this requirement.

5. Data Subject Access Requests:

This is the crucial part of the GDPR checklist since it was not available in previous data protection laws. This is one of the basic rights that the GDPR sets out for consumers. This essentially means that data subjects can at any point ask you about what data has been collected by your organization. These access requests cannot be charged for even if it takes a lot of time for you to deal with them. Moreover, they need to be responded to by the data controller within a month. The legislation also sets out the general principle for when a Data Controller can charge the subject for relevant administrative costs if it can be demonstrated that the request is “manifestly unfounded or excessive”. This way, it balances out the individual rights and the company’s rights as well to receive some protection against abuses of this provision. Here is a basic summary of this article as outlined in the GDPR:

“The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning him or her are being processed, and, where that is the case, access to the personal data and the following information:

  1. the purposes of the processing;
  2. the categories of personal data concerned;
  3. the recipients or categories of recipient to whom the personal data have been or will be disclosed, in particular recipients in third countries or international organizations;
  4. where possible, the envisaged period for which the personal data will be stored, or, if not possible, the criteria used to determine that period;
  5. the existence of the right to request from the controller rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing of personal data concerning the data subject or to object to such processing;
  6. the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority;
  7. where the personal data are not collected from the data subject, any available information as to their source;
  8. the existence of automated decision-making, including profiling, referred to in Article 22(1) and (4) and, at least in those cases, meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and the envisaged consequences of such processing for the data subject.”

6. Technical Checklist
As part of GDPR checklist, this checklist will guide you through the technical steps that your organization needs to take.

6.1. Make sure your domain names are secured. You can do this by either renewing them regularly or if you buy them from a third party then you need to make sure that the configured name server that is authoritative is your own and make sure your critical services are secured.

6.2. A lot of companies have Google Apps, Slack, Wordpress that they use in their daily business lives. These services all have default settings that should be improved to increase the security level of your organisation. You also need to ensure that all your services and apps are updated so that new security settings, as well as GDPR compliant settings, are implemented. Here’s one source you can look at for inspiration on making your Google apps more secure: https://blog.trailofbits.com/2015/07/07/how-to-harden-your-google-apps/

6.3. As tempting as it might be: Do not share Wifi
Shared workplaces are quite a norm these days which consequently means sharing Wifi networks among companies, guests, students or neighbours may open you up to risks of security breaches, for example, people could gather information that is on your network, and might even allow people to access resources protected by source IP. Make it a habit to change your password periodically.

6.4. Develop and communicate a security breach incident response plan

This will allow whoever is in charge at the time of a breach to communicate accordingly about an incident and will allow the fastest response in technical / communication terms.

6.5. Incentivize finding bugs
You could potentially have an external or internal bug bounty program that will incentivize external hackers as well as internal employees to report vulnerabilities. Once reported these vulnerabilities need to be checked by developers or other inside your development teams with the know how to evaluate any reports you receive

6.6. Educate your Technical and Non-technical employees

Quite often your employees and human capital will be the ones who might make you more vulnerable which is why it is imperative that you make sure they are aware of how hackers or other parties can infiltrate your company. By increasing their level of awareness, you are reducing the risk of them falling into a trap. Usually, companies forget to train their non-technical employees. However, they might be the ones you would want to train even more carefully since they lack the expertise to recognize and deal with such cyber-attacks and vulnerabilities.

6.7. Include using 2-factor authentication in your employee handbook as a rule

This would ensure that all accounts of your employees are safe and in case their password gets stolen, the attacker still cannot have access to their accounts and your company’s information in these accounts. As a CEO/CTO/CSO, your role is to make sure everyone complies with this rule. Using a complex and unique password for every website is great advice, but it can be very difficult to recall passwords

Password managers are a great way to manage these since they will remember everything for you with a master password.

6.8. Encrypt the devices

By encrypting company laptops and phones, you protect your company’s assets. Before doing this, you might want to take stock of all your company assets and perhaps segment the employees into categories of security levels needed in line with their jobs.
Here are some sources you can read on for encryption related procedures: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/instantanswers/e7d75dd2-29c2-16ac-f03d-20cfdf54202f/turn-on-device-encryption

6.9. Encourage best practices like “locking” devices and strengthening passwords
Whether employees are leaving the desk for a minute or an hour, encourage them to lock their devices and make it a habit. This would protect your company assets from attacks as well as random accidents. Remember your work environment might be secured but at one point or another, you will have external guests or candidates for interviews who could potentially have access to your data sometimes even by a quick glimpse of a screen. Moreover, when your employees are traveling or go to meet-ups, this habit would help them keep company information secure. You can research password managers, pick a good one and suggest it to your employees.

HR Checklist 

This HR checklist is mostly part organizational measure and part technical measure under our GDPR checklist.

  1. Create a data log: consider what data of your employees you process and create a log as part of your Record of Processing Activities (RPA). As is stated previously you need to specify the following to document the data to be compliant:
  • the type of data (e.g. personal, or special personal (which used to be called sensitive))
  • The categories of data (e.g. recruitment information, bank details, performance information, absence details)
  • Who the data concerns (e.g. employees, next of kin, applicants for jobs etc.)
  • Who has provided the data to you (e.g. the applicant/employee themselves, credit reference agencies, recruitment agencies or other employees)
  • Specify your legal basis to process (e.g. to perform the employment contract, complying with a legal requirement or legitimate interests or other. Consent as a legal basis when it comes to HR related tasks will rarely apply. Think of the legal requirements that you need to fulfill as a legal basis to justify collection and processing (for e.g. complying with employment law or assessing the working capacity of an employee).
  • The purpose of processing (e.g. to pay the employee, for tax reporting purposes, to manage performance)
  • Where and how the data will be stored and who will have access to it for e.g. HR software, tax consultant, printed payslip files
  1. Data transfers: update your vendor list and log it separately. You should also include any events of data being transferred, including who data was transferred to, when it was transferred, where they are storing it, and how you transferred the data. If you are transferring any personal data outside of the European Union (EU) you need to specify what protections are in place and also sign the relevant Data Protection Agreement with your partners.
  2. Specify when exactly data will be deleted: here you can segment your Data Subjects into employees, applicants or any other categories that make sense for your case. For instance, for a job applicant, you could make it a part of the policy to delete the data periodically of rejected employees every month/quarter. However, you need to be able to justify this time period.
  3. Do you carry out any automatic decision making or profiling for e.g. electronic recruitment sifting based on academic achievements, psychometric testing or other metrics? Add it to your RPA
  4. Do you need to carry out a data protection impact assessment and when you are likely to need to do so in the future (e.g. due to the fact that you carry out or will carry out high-risk processing or will be introducing new HR technology)
  5. Check your IT infrastructure allows you to be compliant Your IT infrastructure will be highly relevant to two main themes in terms of GDPR compliance – security and employees’ rights. Security issues:
  6. Consider Employee rights: Do your automated decision-making processes allow you to deal with objections and involve a human decision maker if requested?
  7. How will you respond to Data Subject Access Requests: Can you easily search for all data relating to a particular individual? This will make responding to subject access requests from your employees or prospective employees much easier. Can your employees restrict the processing of their data? Or correct errors?
  8.  What processes do you have for an employee to exercise their right of objection? Do you have the responsibility assigned to a relevant person?
  9. How will you achieve the deletion of personal data, across the business, at an employee’s request in relevant situations?
  10. Is exporting data from your system possible? .csv, .pdf, or .txt files are commonly accepted formats. This will allow you to manage the portability or in layman terms, it would allow you to transfer the data to the employee or to a future/former employer at their request.
  11. Update your data protection policies and employment contracts: Once you have made all the necessary changes it is imperative that you also inform all your employees and other stakeholders when necessary.
  • Privacy notice to staff
  • Data protection policy
  • Data breach reporting policy
  • Subject access policy
  • Data retention policy
  1. Ensure staff has the correct training Make sure all your employees receive an adequate level of training for handling personal data, specific to their job role. They must be informed of the correct policies and procedures. Training needs to be refreshed on a regular basis and you need to keep records of the training provided.
  2. Assess and take necessary measures with all your partners that in some way touch your data.

Sales & Marketing Activities related to the GDPR Checklist

This must be new and the toughest part of the GDPR checklist, since it is takes time.

1. Check and audit your mailing lists. Basically, you need to remove anyone from whom you do not have an opt-in and or have not recorded this opt-in. For new subscribers, make sure that the potential subscriber confirms that they want to join your mailing list by sending an automated email to confirm the subscription.

2. Review the way you are collecting personal data. Are you still buying mailing lists? If so, now might be the time to start fresh with a new mailing list which you have obtained from informed customers and have a legal basis for collecting their e-mail addresses. Delete all e-mails that you haven’t obtained with the proper consent or legal basis. Some ways to still acquire users or convert visitors from your website can be done by offering visitors to your website the opportunity to add themselves to your mailing list using a pop-up on your website.

3. When taking consent to make sure you provide a link to your privacy policy to ensure compliance that tells people exactly what you will do with the data.

4. Educate your Sales and Marketing Teams about what is legally possible and the practices that they need to drop for instance: cold emailing/cold calling (where the e-mail address and/or phone number has not been taken through proper consent).

5. Make sure your customer data is part of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This will help you with allowing users to edit their data, review how exactly it is being used and accessing it in a machine-readable format.

6. Collect data that is necessary for your sales or marketing effort. Ask yourself, which categories of data do you actually need, and which ones can you simply delete. When it comes to signing up forms, only ask for elements you need and will use.

7. If you do not already have it, try out push notifications. Marketers can use push notifications to send a message to subscribers at any time. They are especially helpful in the post GDPR world because they do not process personal data (IP addresses are anonymized) and ask for explicit consent to opt-in and receive notifications.

8. Make sure Privacy statement is updated, easy to read (not a 1000 pages long and without any lingo).

GDPR Checklist for Data Protection Impact Assessment for Projects

According to the GDPR, when an organization is undertaking a new project that has considerable risks when it comes to the freedoms and rights of individuals, in particular, pertaining to data protection. When organisations identify such a risk with a new or existing operation, these are the following steps suggested:

1. Figure out if there’s a need for the DPIA  – conduct an assessment and determine whether the inherent risks of the processing operation require you to undertake a DPIA. In general, these are some high-risk activities that you would probably need to conduct a DPIA for:

Large-scale processing of location data relating to individuals

  • General big data analytics
  • Large-scale processing of HR data with potential for significant effects on employees
  • Video/audio analysis tools
  • Creating large-scale individual profiles
    Analytics with significant effects for individuals
  • Reward programs that generate profiles
  • Fitness wearables and apps

2. Understand and describe the flow of information – create a map of how the information within the particular processing operation is collected, stored, used and deleted.

3. Identify all the risks – document the threats, their scope, vulnerabilities and the possible pertaining threats to the rights and freedoms of individuals whose data you collect and/or process.

4. Assess your privacy solutions – for every risk that you have identified to the personal data, do a cost-benefit analysis and decide on whether you want to accept the risk, reject the risk or accept it but with measures in place to reduce the impact of the threat.

5. Document the DPIA results – Create a report that is signed by the decision-maker. However, where there has been a high risk identified the DPIA report must be submitted to the regulatory data protection authority for consultation.

6. Incorporate the results into your project plan – make sure at every important project milestone that you refer back to your DPIA to ensure that when actions are needed to counter a risk they are actually taken.

Hope you found this comprehensive GDPR checklist useful. As a general principle, you should remember that any obscure collection and processing of data should be questioned. Educating your employees will always prove to be helpful in staying compliant with the GDPR. Is there something you find missing in this GDPR checklist? Work together with us on this checklist!

 

Image Credit: Pixabay mohamed_hassan-5229782/


Data Protection Policy

A Guide To Developing Your Data Protection Policy

A Guide toDeveloping a Data Protection Policy

According to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), every company needs to have Data Protection Goals. These goals also need to be translated into policies in areas that heavily process data. There are numerous policies one of which is Data Protection Policy which sets some of the criteria that a Data Protection Officer has to follow.

A company needs to also ensure that the principles of the GDPR are incorporated into their organizational structure. This is a step by step guide for how an organization can have compliant GDPR policies within their organization. It will start off with a memorandum to the Board of Directors informing them of what the GDPR will entail for the company. It will then give you a basic template of how to inform your employees about the collection and processing of their data.

Memorandum to Board of Directors

To the Board of Directors [add your Company Name] and its affiliates (Company):

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become effective on 25 May 2018. The GDPR will bring considerable changes to data protection laws in the UK and across the European Economic Area (EEA). It will include significantly greater fines for breaches of up to €20 million or 4% of total worldwide annual group turnover. This memorandum summarises the need for a Company-wide programme (GDPR Compliance Programme), requiring the allocation of resources, for compliance with the GDPR.

Issues Concerning Data Protection Under The GDPR:

Under this section of data protection policy, you should explain what type of data is being collected and processed for e.g. if personal data is held by the Company relating to customers, employees or any other parties.  The second part in this section should be an example of a map of Personal Data Flow. You need to clearly lay out how the data travels within the company and record whoever touches this data no matter how briefly. If this data is to leave the borders of the country your company is located in, make sure to mention that as well since it will require signing a Data Protection Agreement with your Vendors (international and local ones).

Reiterate in concrete terms what failure to comply would mean for the Company and the Board of Directors. You should also give a brief description of “Personal Data” as defined by the GDPR.

Here’s an example of how you can add both:

Personal data is defined broadly and comprises data relating to any living individual who can be identified from that data. Personal data and includes:

  • Social security numbers.
  • Telephone numbers.
  • Health information of, for example, customers and employees.

There are many potential ramifications of failure to comply with the GDPR, including:

  • Prosecution of or regulatory enforcement action against the Company, resulting in substantial penalties in European Economic Area (EEA) jurisdictions, including the UK, of up to 4% of an annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year or 20 million euros (whichever is the greater).
  • Adverse publicity, potentially leading to reputational damage and lost customer trust.
  • Missed opportunities and wasted resources.
  • A variety of sanctions in different jurisdictions.
  • Increased scrutiny from data protection authorities whose confidence and powers are increasing substantially under the GDPR.
  • Civil liability or punitive damages for employment-related breaches.
  • Criminal liability for directors and senior managers resulting in imprisonment and substantial penalties.
  • Critical system delays and failures.
  • Orders issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK, and data protection authorities in other key markets, that seriously impact business. Investigative powers include a power to carry out audits, as well as to require information to be provided, and to obtain access to premises.
  • Business continuity issues.
  • Becoming embroiled in litigation and its attendant time, effort and expense.

An individual has a fundamental right in the UK and across the EEA to have their personal data protected and their personal data may only be processed (that is, obtained, recorded, held, used or disclosed) under certain circumstances. This has a wide impact on Company business.

The GDPR Compliance Programme:

A well-constructed and comprehensive Company-wide GDPR Compliance Programme can provide a solution to these various competing interests and represents an effective risk management tool. It is essential for compliance and for the purposes of informing your employees, customers, vendors, business partners, regulators and the courts that your company is, in fact, committed to the GDPR principles of data protection.

Board’s duty to know about and oversee the GDPR Compliance Programme:

You need to inform the board of what their duties and obligations are. Here’s an example of how you can do this in a comprehensive manner.

The Board has a duty to know about the content and operation of the GDPR Compliance Programme and to oversee its implementation and effectiveness appropriately. The GDPR’s new accountability principle requires data controllers to be able to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR by showing the supervisory authority (the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK) and individuals how the data controller complies, on an ongoing basis, through evidence of:

  • Internal policies and processes that comply with the GDPR’s requirements.
  • The implementation of the policies and processes into the organization’s activities.
  • Effective internal compliance measures.
  • External controls.

Failure to comply with the accountability principle may result in the maximum fines of up to €20 million or 4% of total worldwide annual group turnover.

Implementing the GDPR Compliance Programme:

The pre-requisite for this section is to already have an idea of what your implementation plan will look like. If you do not yet have a plan on how you will ensure compliance within your company, make sure you make one first. You can also follow the steps below to make a skeleton of this plan. It is essential that you at least appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) have your Records of Processing Activities (RPAs) for both having a Data Flow Map as well as the basis of your plan. Here’s what you can do and subsequently communicate to your Board of Directors.

Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Under the GDPR it is now mandatory for the Company to appoint a data protection officer (DPO), reporting to the Board. The DPO’s role is to provide the knowledge, expertise, day-to-day commitment and independence to properly advise the Company of its duties and conduct compliance activities in relation to the GDPR.

However, taking into account the complexity and risks associated with the GDPR, we should consider carefully whether we should appoint a DPO, in any case, to report to the Board. The DPO would be responsible for providing the knowledge, expertise, day-to-day commitment and independence to properly advise the Company of its duties and conduct compliance activities in relation to the GDPR.

Organisational Culture

A co-ordinated chain of command (in which the Board is designated as having ultimate responsibility) will need to be developed, together with written reporting procedures, authority levels, and protocols, including seeking and complying with legal advice.

The Company should consider the establishment of a working group, drawing on stakeholders from across the business, to take responsibility for the day-to-day management of the GDPR Compliance Programme.

Standards and Procedures

The privacy policy, Data Protection Policy, IT Security Policy and Data Retention Policy [List any others] are key elements of the GDPR Compliance Programme. Amendments are likely to be needed to the existing policies. Separate policies may be appropriate where the Company collects different types of personal data for different purposes, such as marketing and recruitment. In each case, the policy needs to be accessible at every relevant personal data collection point, for example:

  • Call-center conversations.
  • Online account and job application forms.
  • Business acceptance procedures.

The Company will need to carefully review existing procedures in relation to obtaining an individual’s consent as a legal basis for processing personal data. For example, it will need to ensure that any consent obtained indicates affirmative agreement from the individual (opt-in) (for example, ticking a blank box). Mere acquiescence (for example, failing to un-tick a pre-ticked box) does not constitute valid consent under the GDPR. Furthermore, the Company must demonstrate that this explicit consent has been obtained, ensure that an individual can easily withdraw their consent at any time.

The Company must also be in a position at all times to respond quickly to any data subject’s request (such as for a copy of all of the personal data held or to erase all such personal data). This is likely to require substantial modifications to the Company’s technological infrastructure and its organizational processes.

Other channels may be needed in certain circumstances, for example, the staff handbook regarding personal data collected from employee monitoring.

A written and comprehensive information security programme is needed to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal data held. It should set out action plans for any security breach, disaster recovery, and data restoration.

The Company should develop appropriate contractual strategies and have access to appropriate templates as a risk management tool.

Under the GDPR, the Company will also be required to implement “privacy by design” (for example, when creating new products, services or other data processing activities) and “privacy by default” (for example, data minimization). It must also carry out “privacy impact assessments” before carrying any processing that uses new technologies (and taking into account the nature, scope, context, and purposes of the processing) that is likely to result in a high risk to data subjects, takes place.

The GDPR also requires businesses to notify the supervisory authority of all data breaches without undue delay and where feasible within 72 hours. The Company will, therefore, need to look carefully at its data breach response plans and procedures.

The above represents only a short synopsis of the requirements under the GDPR. There are many more that are not included in this note for the sake of brevity. Getting prepared for compliance with all the compliance requirements will need considerable planning across the Company.

Adequate Resources

Financial, technological and human resources should be sufficient to reasonably prevent and detect non-compliance and promote compliance with the GDPR.

Taking into account the number of employees, assets, turnover, Company business activities, a budget for [Insert Year] of £[Insert Amount] is proposed, broken down as follows: [Insert Breakdown Of Budget].

  1. Training and Enforcement

Effective compliance training programmes are required for personnel at all levels, including directors, heads of departments and key Company service providers. Bearing in mind the above factors, a formally documented training programme with employee evaluation and attendance certification should be put in place as soon as possible.

Serious misconduct should be addressed with appropriate disciplinary action, regardless of seniority. An anonymous whistle-blowing mechanism should be considered, but legal a should be sought before implementation in the UK and any other countries in which the Company carries on business.

Regular Reviews

From time to time, the GDPR Compliance Programme should be reviewed and updated in the light of new laws and business activities and changes to data flows and the introduction of new processing activities.

Informing your Employees

To establish data protection as a pillar of the organization and to ensure that all employees are on board and aware would set the premise for the culture and workings of the company in general. After informing your Board of Directors, it is also important that you conceptualize and get your agreements signed by your employees. This would work both as an agreement as well as an awareness step.

Here’s a template for your employees:

Privacy Notice to Staff

  1. What is the purpose of this document (Data Protection Policy)?

You have legal rights about the way your personal data is handled by us, [Insert Name]. We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.

This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your working relationship with us. It applies to all employees, workers, and contractors. This notice does not form part of any contract of employment or another contract to provide services. We may update this notice at any time.

During your employment or engagement by us, we collect, store and process personal data about you. To comply with the law and to maintain confidence in our business, we acknowledge the importance of correct and lawful treatment of this data.

It is important that you read this notice, along with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal information about you. This gives you information about how and why we are using such information. All people working in or with our business are obliged to comply with this policy when processing personal data.

  1. Our Role

We are a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. Data protection legislation requires to give you the information contained in this privacy notice.

  1. Data protection principles

We will comply with data protection law. This says that the personal information we hold about you must be:

  • Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  • Collected only for valid purposes that we have explained to you clearly and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited to those purposes only.
  • Accurate and kept up to date.
  • Kept only for such time as is necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  • Kept securely.
  1. The kind of information we hold about you

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data). There are “special categories” of more sensitive personal data that require a higher level of protection.

We may collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:
[add all categories]

  1. How is your personal information collected?

Usually, we collect personal information about employees, workers, and contractors through the application and recruitment process, either directly from candidates or sometimes from an employment agency or background check provider. We may sometimes collect additional information from third parties including former employers, credit reference agencies or other background check agencies [list them here, if any].

We will collect additional personal information during work-related activities throughout the period of you working for us.

  1. How we will use information about you

We will use your personal information only when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances:

  • Where we need to perform the contract that applies to our working relationship.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal obligation.
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.

We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare:

  • Where we need to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests).
  • Where it is needed in the public interest or for official purposes.
  1. Situations in which we will use your personal information

We need all the categories of information in the list above (see the kind of information we hold about you) primarily to allow us to perform our contract with you and to enable us to comply with legal obligations. In some cases, we may use your personal information for our legitimate interests or those of third parties, provided that your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests. The situations in which we will process your personal information are as follows [add all the situations in which you will use this data. Some examples would be ascertaining the terms of work, deciding about employment or monitoring equal opportunities metric].

Some of the above grounds for processing will overlap and there may be several grounds that justify our use of your personal information.

  1. If you fail to provide personal information

If you do not provide certain information when we ask for it, we may not be able to perform the contract that applies to our working relationship with you (such as paying you or providing a benefit), or we may not be able to comply with our legal obligations (such as to ensure the health and safety of our workers).

  1. Change of purpose

We will only use your personal information for the purposes that we have collected it for unless we need to use it for another reason and that reason is reasonable and compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal information for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis that allows us to do so.

We may process your personal information without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or allowed by law.

  1. How we use particularly sensitive personal information

“Special categories” of particularly sensitive personal information require higher levels of protection. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal information. We may process special categories of personal information in the situations below:

  • In limited circumstances, with your clear written consent.
  • Where we need to carry out our legal obligations and in line with our data protection policy or other policy that applies to such information.
  • Where it is needed in the public interest, such as for equal opportunities monitoring [or in relation to our occupational pension scheme], and in line with our data protection policy or other policy that applies to such information.
  • Where it is needed to assess your working capacity on health grounds, subject to appropriate confidentiality safeguards.

Very occasionally, we may process this type of information where it is needed in relation to legal claims or where it is needed to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.

  1. Our obligations as an employer

We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:

  • We will use information relating to leaves of absence, which may include sickness absence or family-related leave and related pay, to comply with employment and other laws.
  • We will use information about your physical or mental health, or disability status, to ensure your health and safety in the workplace and to assess your fitness to work, to provide appropriate workplace adjustments, to monitor and manage sickness absence and to administer benefits.
  • We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or moral beliefs, or your sex life or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting.
  • We will use trade union membership information to pay trade union premiums, register the status of a protected employee and comply with employment law obligations.
  • List any other circumstances where you may process personal data that reveals Racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious and philosophical beliefs; trade union membership; genetic data; biometric data; health data; or data about an individual’s sex life and sexual orientation.
  1. Do we need your consent?

We do not need your consent if we use special categories of your personal information in accordance with our written policy to carry out our legal obligations or exercise specific rights in the field of employment law. In limited circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain particularly sensitive data. If we do so, we will give you full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can consider carefully whether you wish to consent. You should be aware that it is not a condition of your contract with us that you agree to any request for consent from us.

  1. Information about criminal convictions

We may only use information relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. This will usually be where such processing is necessary to carry out our obligations and provided we do so in line with our data protection policy or other policy that applies to such information.

Very occasionally, we may use information relating to criminal convictions where it is necessary, in relation to legal claims, where it is necessary to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public

We [envisage OR do not envisage] that we will hold information about criminal convictions.

[We will only collect information about criminal convictions if it is appropriate given the nature of the role and where we are legally able to do so.] [Where appropriate, we will collect information about criminal convictions as part of the recruitment process or we may be notified of such information directly from you while you are working for us.] [We will use information about criminal convictions and offences in the following ways: [add the list here]

  1. Automated decision-making

Automated decision-making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. We can use automated decision-making in the following circumstances:

  • Where we have notified you of the decision and given you 21 days to request a reconsideration.
  • Where it is necessary to perform the contract with you and appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights.
  • In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent and where appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights.

If we make an automated decision based on any particularly sensitive personal information, we must have either your explicit written consent or it must be justified in the public interest, and we must also put in place appropriate measures to safeguard your rights.

You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making unless we have a lawful basis for doing so and we have notified you.

In case, no automated decision is made at your company, use this: [We do not envisage that any decisions will be taken about you using automated means, however, we will notify you in writing if this position changes.]

  1. Data sharing

We may have to share your data with third parties, including third-party service providers and other entities in the group.

We require third parties to respect the security of your data and to treat it in accordance with the law.

We may transfer your personal information outside the EU.

If we do, you can expect a similar degree of protection in respect of your personal information

  • Why might you share my personal information with third parties?

We may share your personal information with third parties where required by law, where it is necessary to administer the working relationship with you or where we have another legitimate interest in doing so.

  • Which third-party service providers process my personal information?

“Third parties” includes third-party service providers (including contractors and designated agents) and other entities within our group. The following activities are carried out by third-party service providers: payroll, pension administration, benefits provision and administration, IT services OR The following third-party service providers process personal information about you for the following purposes: [add purposes].

  • How secure is my information with third-party service providers and other entities in our group?

All our third-party service providers and other entities in the group are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

  • When might you share my personal information with other entities in the group?

We will share your personal information with other entities in our group as part of our regular reporting activities on company performance, in the context of a business reorganization or group restructuring exercise, for system maintenance support and the hosting of data [Describe other known activities].

  • What about other third parties?

We may share your personal information with other third parties, for example in the context of the possible sale or restructuring of the business. We may also need to share your personal information with a regulator or to otherwise comply with the law.

  • Transferring information outside the EU (use only if it applies to your company)

We may transfer the personal information we collect about you to the following country/countries outside the EU [List companies here] to perform our contract with you. There [is OR is not] an adequacy decision by the European Commission in respect of [that OR those] [country OR countries]. This means that the [country OR countries] to which we transfer your data are [deemed OR not deemed] to provide an adequate level of protection for your personal information.

However, to ensure that your personal information does receive an adequate level of protection we have put in place the following appropriate measures to ensure that your personal information is treated by those third parties in a way that is consistent with and which respects the EU and UK laws on data protection: [Specify measure, for example, Binding corporate rules]. If you require further information about [this OR these] protective measure[s], [you can request it from [Position] OR it is available [On the intranet/Provide link here].

  1. Data security

We have put in place measures to protect the security of your information. Details of these measures are available [upon request OR on the intranet].

Third parties will only process your personal information on our instructions and where they have agreed to treat the information confidentially and to keep it secure

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorized way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. [Details of these measures may be obtained from [Position].]

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.

  1. Data retention

  2. How long will you use my information for?

We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. [Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal information are available in our retention policy which is available from [[Position] OR [The intranet/Provide Link]]. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

In some circumstances, we may anonymize your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you. Once you are no longer an employee, worker or contractor of the company we will retain and securely destroy your personal information in accordance with [our data retention policy OR applicable laws and regulations].

  1. Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction

  2. Your duty to inform us of changes

It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal information changes during your working relationship with us.

  1. Your rights in relation to personal information

Under certain circumstances, by law, you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request that your personal information is erased. This allows you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to stop processing personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest and there is something about your situation that makes you want to object to processing on this ground.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example, if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.

If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact [Position] in writing.

  1. No fee usually required

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.

  1. What we may need from you

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

  1. Right to withdraw consent

In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the collection, processing, and transfer of your personal information for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact [Position]. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.

  1. [Data protection officer]

[We have appointed a [data protection officer (DPO) OR data privacy manager] to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the [DPO OR data privacy manager]. You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.]

  1. Changes to this privacy notice

We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time, and we will provide you with a new privacy notice when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, please contact [Position and Contact Details].

 

I, ___________________________ (employee/worker/contractor name), acknowledge that on _________________________ (date), I received a copy of [EMPLOYER]’s Privacy Notice for employees, workers and contractors and that I have read and understood it.

 

Signature:         _________________________

Name:                _________________________


Stock Photo - Laptop

10 GDPR questions answered for SaaS Companies

In the last few days, after our product hunt launch, we have received questions from people who are curious about the process of compliance. How do you start? What are some of the things to keep in mind? Since the GDPR will be enforced this coming May we see a lot of companies scrambling to comply. We thought that an example of a company that is in the final stages of GDPR compliance would help. So we caught up with Woodpecker.co to find out what they have done, how they have done it and what they think could have helped them in the process. We started with the basic GDPR questions and build our way up to all the others.

1) How did you get started with the GDPR?

We’re based in Poland, so we heard about GDPR pretty soon. We’ve tried to keep abreast with the news since the moment we heard about the changes. So, we can say that we began by keeping an eye out on the discourse around GDPR.

2) What were your first steps? Please feel free to mention your steps

First, we read the whole regulation. In my opinion, there should be one person at every company who has read the regulation from start to finish. It helps a lot. Especially since there’s a lot of panic around GDPR as well as around the implications that may follow from it. Reading the whole thing clears things out for you.

Then, we found a couple of GDPR conferences. One of our colleagues, who we appointed as Data Protection Specialist, took part in those conferences and shared what she learned with the rest of us. She prepared small presentations for every department: Office Management, Sales, Marketing, and told us how GDPR will affect our work. Her input was invaluable.

We updated our Policy and Terms of Service. We reviewed our signup forms for our newsletter, downloadable marketing content and the app itself.

Then, we researched how other companies were preparing for GDPR. We decided to let our customers know what we were doing for GDPR. That’s how we created the page. It’s made to inform our customers and subscribers how we’re handling things.

3) How did you change your email marketing for the GDPR?

The first step we took was to make sure our signup forms were clear to understand, as it is one of the requirements of GDPR. The signup forms should be free of any jargon words or windy sentences. The signees should know what they subscribe to.

The subscribers should feel their personal data is secure when they give it to us, and that they are in full control of it. Of course, they can unsubscribe from our newsletter or update their data at any point. We have made sure it’s easy for them to do that.

GDPR also calls for data limitation, collecting only the kind of personal data that’s essential. It has always been the case when it comes to our marketing communication. We don’t collect more data than necessary to send a newsletter. For instance, we’re not going to call our newsletter subscribers, thus we don’t collect phone numbers.

Next, we took care of the signatures that come at the end of our newsletter emails. We made sure there’s all the information that anyone would need. We’re working on the short notification that would inform the newsletter subscriber that they received the email, because they subscribed to the blog.

4) What are 10 simple changes & advice for a marketer who is reading this blog?

  1. Don’t panic. GDPR wasn’t made to kill all of your marketing activities. It was written to protect the rights of consumers. Not to harass marketers or make their job harder.
  2. Don’t trust everything you’ve read about GDPR. A lot of stuff out there is just somebody’s interpretation of the regulation. Learn to separate the wheat from the chaff.
  3. Appoint one person at your company who’ll review the way personal data is being handled. Are you sure you know what happens with the data? Who has access to it? Is the process secure? If you have no idea, it’s time to come up with a plan to make it as secure as you can.
  4. Review opt-in forms. All opt-in forms should be short and easy to understand. They shouldn’t be written in fine print nor should they be in hard-to-see colors.
  5. Ask for the information you really need. GDPR stresses out that the personal data you collect should be adequate and relevant to the purpose of its processing. So don’t ask for the company address, if you’re not going to mail the company anything.
  6. Keep your database clean. Do the major cleaning of your contact lists from time to time. If you don’t know how the subscriber ended up on your list, it’s better to either delete them or ask them whether they want to opt in for your marketing communication. Similarly, if a person unsubscribes, cross them out.
  7. Be transparent – Tell your subscribers in what ways you’re going to process their personal data. GDPR calls for transparency. The customers and newsletter subscribers should understand in what ways you’re processing their personal data and what kind of data you keep.
  8. Keep your word – if you say you’re processing personal data to send them a weekly newsletter, don’t send email twice a week. If you say you delete them from your list, do that. Now it’s even more important to keep your word.
  9. Learn how GDPR is interpreted in your own country. EU member states differ in their interpretation when it comes to the regulation.
  10. Inform your newsletter subscribers and customers about what you did to be GDPR compliant. We still receive some questions about whether we think App A or B is GDPR compliant. And we can’t say unless this company released a GDPR statement.

5) How long did it take for you guys to be GDPR compliant?

To be honest, we’re at the finishing line. We still need to polish a thing or two. We’re sure to announce it within a week or less. We’ve been working on it for a couple of months, because we process our users’ personal data and our users process personal data of prospects. We need to work our way through GDPR compliance.

6) What piece of advice – would you give to the readers who are starting now?

Don’t try to do everything at once. It might be overwhelming. Especially since there’s a lot of contradictory advice on the Internet. Start with baby steps. That’s how we came with an idea of creating a GDPR checklist available on our blog. If you don’t know what to do, take a lawyer’s advice. But I’m sure you’ll manage to take care of GDPR compliance on your own.

Start with thinking what data you collect and where from. It is not only the pillar of conducting risk assessment. It will also help you realize what kind of data security policy you need.

Change the way you think about GDPR. It isn’t a policy which covers mistakes in the current system but policy which showcases how the system works.

7) Would a step-by-step and simple to use GDPR solution make sense if people are starting now?

That would be even better. I think the compliance took so much of our time because we didn’t have everything in one place. Have we had a solution to keep our work organized, it would have taken far less time to become GDPR compliant.

8) How much did you hate using spreadsheets for the GDPR?

We have the GDPR documents scattered around, because there is a lot of information to keep an eye on, likewise, we have had to review our database and do everything in our power to secure the personal data of our users and newsletter subscribers. It got really hectic. If we had an app or something that would keep everything under one roof and let us collaborate, we’d be thrilled.

9) You mentioned here – “make a list of all the in-app areas that need to be taken care of to comply with the regulation (COMPLETED)” – What were those changes?

As a sales automation tool, Woodpecker is both, data processor and data administrator. We process personal data and allow our users to process personal data of their prospects. That’s why we needed to review how we process personal data and how others can process personal data in the app. We need to be cautious about our users’ data. And we need to make it possible for our users to process the personal data of their prospects in a way that is GDPR compliant.

10) Do you have an example of a cold email you write to your business contacts based on the GDPR who have not opted in?

An email body doesn’t change much from what it was before. There are two things that need our attention when writing a cold email though. The first thing is having a tightly targeted list of prospects. A spray-and-pray approach has never been effective, but now it’s illegal under GDPR. When we decide to send somebody a cold email, we should be able to justify why you chose a specific person to be on our cold emailing list. Our business statute should be tightly connected with theirs.

The other thing is that we should be transparent. We should include information, or at least be prepared to give it when asked to, that we’re processing our prospect’s personal data and that prospects can opt-out from receiving further emails from us any time they want. We have an example of that in our article about GDPR.

You can check out Woodpecker.co right here!

If the answers to these GDPR questions have left you confused about how to start your compliance process or if you find yourself drowning in heaps of excel sheets, book a free demo with us!