A Beginner's Guide To School Data Protection Policy

As an educational institution, you will have unique stakeholders who will be impacted by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The School Data Protection Policy guide will take you, step by step through the necessary actions you need to think about and conceptualise your compliance around.

Who will be impacted by this Data Collection?

The first step is for you to understand, as with any Organisation taking their first steps to comply, how data travels in your Organisation and who is it touched by through this process. The questions to think about here are the following:

Whose data are you collecting?

This for a typical school would include contracts of your teachers, teaching assistants, administrative staff, Principals and Vice Principals but also of caretakers and students. This will all be categorised as Personal information. This would also include any digital or other pseudonyms that a person can be identified with.

These are the types of data you must map:

Personally-Identifiable Information

Any data that can help identify an individual. It is also examples of personal data include name, location, personal identification number, the colour of your hair, the list of customers (parents, students) names and their addresses, IT usage data, traffic data, information about education, income and license plate.

Sensitive personal data

Like personal data because its main purpose is to help identify an individual, but more dangerous if breached or vulnerable to privacy. Examples of sensitive personal data include religious beliefs, race, political opinions, sexual orientation, physical and mental health conditions, biometric data or genetic data.

Biometric data

Any data that is used to identify a human being by his/her unique characteristics. Digital fingerprints are one example of biometric data. The GDPR states that the processing of such data is prohibited unless the data subject (user/consumer) has provided the consent and the processing is necessary for specific reasons such as protecting the vital interests of the individual.

Updating the parents

As a school, you will naturally have a lot of students who will be too young to give you qualified consent. This essentially means that you have to inform the parents about all your data processing activities and obtain consent from them.

As providers of childcare as well as providers of education, it is important for you to create an atmosphere of trust and build up your reliability among parents pertaining to Data Protection. Steps to ensure that the parents and their families’ data is being adequately protected will reduce the subject access requests later.

Below are the important points you need to mention in your letter to the parents. Make sure you customize it to your need that is if you are a kindergarten, you will have different data collection and processing methods than if you are only a high school.

You should start off with a brief description of what The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is. In this part, you should also inform the parents of their rights:

The rights of the data subject (individual):

  • information about the processing of your personal data;
  • obtain access to the personal data held about you;
  • ask for incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete personal data to be corrected;
  • request that personal data be erased when it’s no longer needed or if processing it is unlawful;
  • object to the processing of your personal data for marketing purposes or on grounds relating to your situation;
  • request the restriction of the processing of your personal data in specific cases;
  • receive your personal data in a machine-readable format and send it to another controller (‘data portability’);
  • request that decisions based on automated processing concerning you or significantly affecting you and based on your personal data are made by natural persons, not only by computers. You also have the right, in this case, to express your point of view and to contest the decision. (EU GDPR, 2018)

Access for Parents

How they can access your privacy notice and data protection policy (this could include a link to your website). How you are complying with the new regulations:

  • what data you are storing
  • how you are storing it
  • how you are sharing it and with whom
  • how long it is retained for
  • how it is destroyed and when

Ideally, you should inform them who they need to contact (Ideally your Data Protection Officer) regarding any questions they may have on data protection or to request access to information.

A link to your Data Protection Authority website so parents can learn more about GDPR if they are interested.

You could also ask parents to review the information that you are storing on them/their child and to confirm if it is still current or make amendments as appropriate. Or to revisit consent for use of photographs of their child.

You may use this communication as an opportunity to ask parents to sign a new contract with your organisation that includes new data protection wording compliant with the GDPR

Using Online Tools in Schools under The GDPR
Check source here.

The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 says that only children aged 13 and above are able to provide their own consent for commercial internet services to process their personal data.

Online service is the only context in which the GDPR and DPA 2018 define the age at which children can provide consent.

A Child’s Consent Under the GDPR

Conditions applicable to child’s consent in relation to information society services

  1. Where point (a) of Article 6(1) applies, in relation to the offer of information society services directly to a child, the processing of the personal data of a child shall be lawful where the child is at least 16 years old. Where the child is below the age of 16 years, such processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that consent is given or authorised by the holder of parental responsibility over the child.

Member States may provide by law for a lower age for those purposes provided that such lower age is not below 13 years.

  1. The controller shall make reasonable efforts to verify in such cases that consent is given or authorised by the holder of parental responsibility over the child, taking into consideration available technology.
  2. Paragraph 1 shall not affect the general contract law of Member States such as the rules on the validity, formation or effect of a contract in relation to a child.

Services provided ‘directly to a child’

This rule applies specifically to services which are considered to be provided “directly” to children, and where consent is the lawful basis for processing the child’s personal data.

“Directly to a child” means that a child can access the service independently – for example, via an app store. This is irrespective of whether the child signs up independently or whether the service is provided to them under a contract between the service and their school (or another organisation).

These services are referred to as “information society services” in the regulations, and include social media, educational apps and online platforms.

The rule described above is primarily directed at providers of such services. Typically, a child signs up and submits their personal data directly, so the provider needs a lawful basis to process this data.

Prerequisites for your Organisation’s Compliance

Document all personal data your Organisation holds

GDPR requires you to maintain records of processing activities. If you want a detailed guide on how to do this, read our blog on it.

Your organization must document all the data that it holds, where it came from and how it uses that data if it somehow refers to an identifiable person. Furthermore, your organization must be able to submit up-to-date reports, so-called records of processing activities (RPA), to the competent data protection authority at all times.

The development of the records of processing activities is also a key step because it enables the Organisation to evaluate the whole process and understand where corrective measures have to be taken. Without such a record, no compliance to any further requirement of GDPR can ever be achieved!

Checking if your data processing adheres to the individual rights

Now that you have sorted your data, you have to legally review all procedures concerning personal data. Are they compliant to GDPR or not? The answer is complex and usually work of a lawyer. Generally, you must keep in mind that processing activities concerning personal related data might affect the rights of the individuals. Those processing activities therefore always have to be justified.

Requests for subject access

Your organisation should update the procedures and must plan how you will handle subject access requests to take account of the new rules. In most cases, you will not be able to charge for complying with a request.

You will have a month to comply, rather than the current 40 days.

You can refuse or charge for requests that are excessive, but you will need to provide the requests with a machine-readable format of their data. If you refuse a request, you must tell the individual why and that they have the right to complain to the supervisory authority and to a judicial remedy. You must do this without undue delay and at the latest, within one month.

Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Probably your organisation has to appoint a DPO to take responsibility for the regulatory compliance.

This DPO will report to the highest position in the firm and has to make sure the Organisation will take the needed measures to have its processes and information flow according to the GDPR. Some special aspects regard to the mandatory need of a DPO apply, however, it is a good idea to have a specialized role within the organization.

Another option is a virtual DPO, that can help your Organisation be GDPR compliant. The best part is that it costs much less and reduces Organisation man-hours involved by 75%!

Data Protection Impact Assessment and Protection by Default and Design

Your Organisation has to evaluate deeply the type of processing activities it will require for each data it collects to analyze the risks it may cause to the data subject. Every software used, activity performed and measure taken must have protection by design. It ensures that there will be no breaches and no vulnerability regarding the security of this data and no harm to the rights of the data subject.

If the processing activities or the data is susceptible to high risks, an impact assessment must be performed to evaluate the right measures to be taken to minimize this risk. Important aspects to grant this security are pseudonymizing, minimization of the data, ensuring the erasure of data according to the consent deadlines, and granting access to the data subject.

Data breaches and notifications

Your Organisation must adopt internal procedures and require the same to third-party partners, in order to deal with data breaches.

Those procedures should include identification of the actual data breach, investigation of the circumstances of the breach, and assessment of the implications it may cause both to the Organisation and to the data subject regarding his privacy.

One thing to remember is that the information should be notified to the Supervisory Authority in no more than 72 hours when the data subjects are exposed to some kind of risk, and in those cases, the data subject also have to be notified.

Applying the rule in a school setting

The rule becomes more complicated to apply in a school setting if you’re using this type of service because consent will be between the child/parents and the service provider. So, if consent is refused, you won’t be able to use the service with those children.

Steps to take before you use any online service with pupils

  1. Determine whether pupils’ use of the service is necessary for educational purposes (see below). This will inform what lawful basis you can use if the school itself will be processing any personal data, and the measures you put in place to protect pupils’ data
  2. Conduct a data protection impact assessment to identify and minimize the data protection risks and determine whether you should proceed
  3. Look into the service provider to establish, to the best of your ability, whether it complies with data protection regulations.

What counts as necessary for educational purposes?

It’s up to you to determine this in your own context, but Forbes suggested that, typically, a service will be considered necessary where the nature of it will require the school and service provider to share pupils’ personal data between them.

For example, an online platform that supports or enables standardised assessments and decision-making will help to achieve learning objectives and is likely to need to receive personal data from the school and send personal data back in return – such as pupils’ scores. This may be considered necessary for educational purposes. Similar principles are likely to apply to a homework portal.

However, if you want to use a social media platform to research photos in class, this may be considered more of a ‘convenience’, with a higher risk to children’s privacy if you do not have a data sharing agreement in place with the provider. There may also be alternative approaches available with less risk to children’s privacy. This would be harder to justify as necessary for educational purposes.

Identifying a lawful basis

If pupils’ use of the service will require the school to process any personal data – i.e. if you need to collect and share data with the service provider, or will receive data back from the provider – you’ll need to identify a lawful basis for this.

If you can demonstrate that the service is necessary, then it’s most likely that you’ll need to justify this processing under the public task basis. Otherwise you’ll have to rely on consent if using the service isn’t necessary for educational purposes.

If the school will not need to process any personal data in order for pupils to use the service – i.e. if pupils will sign up independently and the school will not receive any data from the provider – then you’re not acting as a data controller and will not need to identify a lawful basis. However, this carries more risk and, as we explain later, you must not require pupils to use an online service where this is the case.

If the outcome of the data protection impact assessment is that you can proceed, take the steps below. If not, consider alternative ways to achieve the same aim with less risk to children’s data privacy.

Additional actions if the service is necessary for educational purposes

Note: this will be the safest option for you, and most likely the only justifiable one if you require pupils to use the online service.

Where you have determined and can demonstrate that using the online service is necessary for the education of a child, and justifiable under the public task basis, you should:

  • Enter into an agreement/contract with the service provider. This means you’ll retain control of the personal data and therefore minimize any data protection risks. Make sure your contract covers the terms and information about data protection required by the GDPR
  • Share only the personal data that the provider needs to perform the services
  • Incorporate information about your use of the service and the personal data you exchange with the provider in relevant privacy notices. You can also link to any privacy information from the provider

Additional actions if the service is not necessary for educational purposes

In this situation, you cannot require pupils to sign up for the service.

Where you’ll need to process personal data in order to use the service

You’ll need to rely on consent as your lawful basis if you’ll need to collect and share any personal data with the service provider, and/or receive personal data back when pupils are using the service.

Pupils or their parents/carers must be able to give or refuse consent freely.

You must:

  • Request consent, ensuring that your request meets the requirements of the GDPR, before using the service with the pupil.
  • Provide a privacy notice explaining what the programme or service does, why and how the school uses it, what data it will require from pupils, and what rights pupils have. You can do this by incorporating information on sharing data with third parties in your privacy notices, and by linking to privacy notices for the services you use in an appropriate place

You should also put in place a written data sharing agreement with the provider.

Where the exchange of personal data will only be between the pupil and the provider

In situations where a pupil will be signing up directly with the service, and no personal data will be exchanged between the school and the provider, the issue of consent and providing relevant privacy information will be between the provider and the pupil.

There will be no useful reason for you to obtain pupil or parental consent for this, as you’ll not be processing any personal data in relation to the pupils’ use of the service.

As stated above, you will not be able to require pupils to use services in this case.

If the purpose of using a service where the exchange of personal data will be between the pupil and the provider is to support the delivery of the curriculum, you should seek safer alternatives. For example, using social media such as Instagram and Pinterest in school to research, and share, images is difficult to regulate and monitor. In this instance, the curriculum could be delivered using other resources such as search engines for researching images and secure cloud storage to enable students to upload and share images.

If you decide to use social media platforms, you should ensure that parents are fully informed as to how it will be used and the potential risks associated with its use. Mark suggested that you seek parental consent in this instance due to the potential safeguarding risks. As explained above, parental consent will not be needed for the processing of personal data.

As a school, your responsibility lies towards your students which would usually mean getting parents on board. This law is essentially empowering for both organizations and consumers. It allows for you to garner trust among parents as well as build an organization based on the principles of Data Protection.


If you have any questions or concerns as a school about the GDPR, book a time with us.

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!

The GDPR Glossary

This is a commonly used General Data Protection Regulation Glossary. Since GDPR is written by lawyers and we wanted to help you to understand these difficult terms in a more easy way. Below are the most important ones to keep an eye on.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The is a regulation on the protection of individuals within the European Union with regard to the processing and movement of personal data in this era of increased online data sharing. It was adopted on 27 April 2016 and it shall be applied from 25 May 2018.


It is a legal act adopted by the European Union that can be immediately applied in the Member States and does not need further adopting the national law. This means that the GDPR will come into effect in all the Member States of the European Union starting from 25 May 2018.

Personal data

Any data that can help identify an individual. It is also called Personally Identifiable Information.Examples of personal data include name, location, personal identification number, the color of your hair, the list of customers names and their addresses, IT usage data, traffic data, information about education, income, license plate.

Sensitive personal data

Similar to personal data because its main purpose is to help identify an individual, but more dangerous if breached or vulnerable to privacy.Examples of sensitive personal data include religious beliefs, race, political opinions, sexual orientation, physical and mental health conditions, biometric data or genetic data.

Biometric data

Any data that is used to identify a human being by his/her unique characteristics.Fingerprints are one example of biometric data. The GDPR states that the processing of such data is prohibited unless the data subject (user/consumer) has provided the consent and the processing is necessary for specific reasons such as protecting the vital interests of the individual.

Genetic data

Any data that refers to genetic characteristics of a data subject. This data is unique and individual.
Protecting the genetic data is very important, as health insurance companies in possession of genetic data regarding the health of a subject may increase the cost of insurance based on this information.

Data concerning health

Any data that can offer information about the physical and mental state of a data subject.

For example, medical records about a mental disorder such as depression are considered to be data concerning health.

Data subject

An individual to which the data refers to. In simpler terms, it could be a user or consumer.

For example, a student is a data subject, as the university possesses data about him/her which include name, address, nationality, date of birth, etc.

Furthermore, the processing of data may affect employees, managers, contractual partners, suppliers, etc


 All the operations that are performed on the personal data, such as collecting, recording, transferring or storing.

When users create new accounts or do online-shopping using their credit cards, the websites process their personal data.

Encrypted Data

 The protection of personal data that has the purpose of ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the data and making it unreadable and from those who do not have a special access to this data.

For example, encrypted data may seem like meaningless information unless you are using the correct key to decrypt it.

Data Controller (DC)

The entity who decides which data will be processed and by what means.

Examples of data controllers include individuals, legal persons, government departments or companies. The GDPR creates an obligation to provide information to the data subject regarding any personal data being processed and to allow access to the personal data.

The DC must also inform in the quickest time possible the purpose of the processing, the category of personal data being processed, who the recipient of the personal data was etc.

Data Processor (DP)

 The entity responsible for the processing of personal data on behalf of the Data Controller.

Examples of Data Processor include IT service providers or market research companies.

Only the processors providing sufficient guarantees in regard to the GDPR will be chosen by the Data Controller.

Data Processor
Data Processor

Data recipient 

The entity that receives the data processed by the DP.

These entities can be public ( for example tax offices, governmental agencies etc.) or private ( for example departments regarding their own employees – like marketing, personnel, accounting etc., banks, telecommunications companies etc.)

Data protection agreement 

When a DC appoint a DP, they must create this legal act called data protection agreement ( DPA) in order to determine in a written form all the conditions of the processing such as subjects of processing, duration, purpose, means used etc.

The obligations and rights of the processor have to be clearly determined ( for example the duty of confidentiality or the obligation to take all the technical measures possible to avoid breaches).


Right to erasure

 Also referred to as ‘right to be forgotten’, it secures the individual’s right to have the DC erase without delay their personal data, inform other controllers that the individual has requested the erasure of data and cease further dissemination of the data.

For example, search engines are expected upon a request from the individual to delete the links to certain web pages that are linked to the individual’s name.

Right to the restriction of processing

The right of the individual to have the DC restrict the processing of the data if it is inaccurate, unlawful or the controller doesn’t need the personal data for processing anymore.

If this right is used by the data subject, the DC has the obligation to inform further data controllers processing the data.

Right to data portability

It enables the data subject to obtain any personal data from the controller in a format that is readable by another data controller.

This right may have a higher applicability in the banking industry if a data subject requests to see his/her transactions and to obtain them in a readable format.

Joint controllers

Two or more data controllers decide together which data will be processed and by which means. The process has to be realized in a transparent manner, with regards to the rights of the data subject.

For example, a company which produces certain goods and its authorized dealer can decide to share the personal data of their customers.

Controller representative 

An individual or a legal person who represents the controller in matters regarding the compliance with the GDPR.

Records of processing Activities

 All the processing activities regarding personal data of enterprises with more than 250 persons or with a risk to the rights and freedoms of the data subjects shall be recorded.

For example, if an organization is using either employee data or customer data. They have to record it and present in a documentation form that is called records of processing activity.

Data protection impact assessment 

If the data being processed possesses a risk to the rights and freedoms of data subjects, the controller has the obligation to evaluate the risk before starting the processing. The Data Protection Officer may offer assistance in this matter.

If the result of the assessment shows a high risk, the process shall be reviewed every 6 months. For medium risk, the process will be reviewed every 9 months and for low every 12 months.

Privacy Impact assessmentSupervisory authority

A public authority with whom the data controllers and processors are required to cooperate if necessary.

Each State of the EU will designate at least one independent supervisory authority.

In Germany, there are 15 supervisory authorities, responsible for the different regions of the country (for example the Bavarian Data Protection Authority – BayLDA, responsible for the state of Bavaria)

The European Data Protection Board

A body of the European Union established by the GDPR composed of the head of one supervisory authority from each State of the EU.

The main purpose of the Board is to ensure the application of the Regulation.

Personal data breach 

A security issue leading to unlawful access, use, dissemination etc. of personal data.

For example, 3 million encrypted customer credit card records have been stolen from Adobe in 2013 following a data breach.

The DC shall notify the supervisory authority within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach and disclose the nature of the breach, the personal data affected, the likely consequences and the possible measures that can be taken to repair the damage created.

If the breach is considered to be a risk to the rights and freedoms of the individual, the data subject must be notified as well.

In order to avoid such problems, the controller is asked to analyze the risk of potential data breaches and to try to strengthen the security where possible. The risk is evaluated on a scale from 1(low risk) to 3 (high risk).

Data Protection Officer

An individual whose main task is to monitor the compliance of an enterprise with the GDPR and to advise on data protection measures.

A DP Officer shall be designated if the organization is a public authority, carries large-scale monitoring of data subjects or processes data related to criminal convictions.


A process encouraged by the GDPR in which the data cannot be attributed to an individual and cannot help identify him/her without additional information. This method is designed to improve the security of the data and reduce the risk of breaches. The DCs are encouraged to use this process in order to meet the GDPR security requirements.


 An exemption of a law or a rule.

In the context of the European Union Regulations, derogation can mean that a Member State may not implement a new law immediately.


The agreement given by an individual regarding the processing of personal data.

For example, when registering on a website or taking part in an online contest, you have to tick a box saying that you agree that the company may use and process the data you have provided.


 A method that uses the provided personal data to predict behavior in the future.

For example, social media websites use the data an individual has provided in order to offer him/her targeted advertising, based on likes, hobbies, viewed pages etc.

Filing system

A system that is designed to organize the personal data and make it accessible using some specific criteria.

For example, choosing personal data of subjects in one geographical area or of a specific age.

Data transfer

Moving personal data from the 28 EU countries and the three EEA countries (Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland) to a third country. The GDPR allows this process only if the country in matter complies with the conditions of the Regulation. A commission will evaluate the level of data protection in that specific country and approve or disapprove to the data transfer.

Until now the Commission has stated that the following countries provide sufficient data protection:  Andorra, Argentina, Canada (commercial organizations), Faeroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay.

If the UK shall leave the European Union and the EEA, it shall become a third country.


European Economic Area, an area in which free movement of persons, services, goods and capital is allowed.

There are currently 28 EU states which are part of the EEA plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) 

the set of internal rules used by multinational companies which regulate the transfers of personal data within the group to companies that are not in the EEA and do not provide the level of data protection required.

The BCRs need to be approved by the EU and will then provide sufficient protection guarantee to allow this international transfers to take place.

For example, eBay has adopted a set of Binding Corporate Rules approved by the Luxembourg National Data Commission.


Punishments imposed for not complying with the GDPR. The fines for data breaches can be as high as €20 million or 4% of global gross revenue (whichever is higher).

As a result of these very high penalties, many companies which do not comply with the Regulations or are subject to data breaches may face insolvency.