Surely you have heard of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. But did you know that international businesses must also ensure GDPR compliance? Yes, that’s right. As soon as they have website visitors from the EU, they must follow the GDPR.
Effective as of May 25, 2018, the GDPR compliance standard keeps European citizens’ data safe while online. European businesses and international businesses with a digital presence for EU-citizens must follow the GDPR regulations to avoid high fines.
In this article by Tenba Group, the China online marketing company of your choice, we reveal everything you need to know about GDPR for your business.
What is the GDPR Compliance?
The GDPR ruling requires that businesses protect both the personal data and the privacy of EU citizens during online transactions within EU member states. It also mandates control over the exportation of that personal data outside the EU.
While the GDPR compliance is open to interpretation, businesses must contend with what constitutes a reasonable level of protection of citizen data. As more businesses move online, the GDPR gives policymakers room to assess quality controls and punishments for noncompliance.
One of the hallmarks of the GDPR compliance is that businesses have one central standard to meet within the EU.
GDPR Protects Private Information
The GDPR regulation protects basic identity information. That’s website data such as IP addresses, health, and healthcare information, biometric data, ethnic and cultural data, as well as political and lifestyle orientation information. Under the regulations, IP addresses are considered personal data, affecting server log files and even Google fonts for compliance.
The liability of data affects not only data controllers but also data processors. In short, this means businesses or organizations that own the data as well as data management businesses or organizations. Businesses that use third-party processors who are not in compliance result in noncompliance for the business as well.
For small and medium businesses, the new regulation is challenging to figure out. It also requires an investment of time and money. Moreover, there are many components of the regulation that fall into the smallest of digital details.
As SME increasingly outsource their digital needs, it can be difficult to know if a website is compliant throughout all of its’ front and backend processes. Yet, failing to be GDPR compliant comes at a high cost. The EU can enforce fines either up to 20 million Euros or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue of the previous year.
Why Did GDPR Compliance Arise?
The concern for digital privacy is a growing public concern. Over 7,000 French, German, Italian, British, and American consumers were surveyed under the RSA Data Privacy & Security Report. Lost banking and financial data was the top concern for 80% of participants. Safety of security and identity information, such as passwords and identification numbers, were a major concern for over 70% of those surveyed.
The report also found that over 60% of consumers would blame the companies responsible for data loss during a breach over cybersecurity threats and hackers. Transparency and responsiveness are the key values of consumers that they wanted the companies to abide by.
The GDPR regulations will require a lot of difficult work for companies to ensure that they meet the standards. In the long run, they can hope to gain the confidence of consumers and demonstrate goodwill towards data collection and privacy interests.
Is Your Company Affected By the GDPR Compliance?
The GDPR regulations will not just affect EU-localized businesses. A report released by Ovum estimated that roughly 66% of American companies need to reassess their European digital strategies in order to comply with the regulations. The same is true for Chinese businesses.
A vast majority of companies see this as a disadvantage to competitiveness. However, more and more consumers are concerned with the collection and use of their personal data. Especially as internet algorithms become more complex. More international institutions are researching ways to keep digital consumers safe while online.
So, who must comply with the GDPR in reality?
You Must Follow GDPR If…
Once your business or organization falls under any of the following categories, it must follow the GDPR compliance:
- Your company stores or processes personal information about EU citizens within the EU member states.
- Your company has no presence in the EU. But your company stores or processes personal information about EU citizens or residents.
- More than 250 employees in your company
- Less than 250 employees in your company. But there is data processing or includes sensitive personal data that could impact the rights of those data collection subjects.
And what about China?
Data Protection in China
Of course, you are familiar with the strict rules in the Middle Kingdom to publish content online. However, the motive here is rather controlling online information than protecting the private information of China’s online users.
To date, there is no comprehensive legislation that focuses exclusively on the regulation of personal data protection in China. Although there was some movement towards a national regulation in 2012 in the form of the “Digital Data Protection Rule”, this never took off.
Instead, there are principles and rules related to data protection scattered in various laws and regulations. For example, the Cybersecurity Law and the Chinese Criminal Law.
The EU-US Privacy Shield
This framework aimed at regulating transatlantic exchanges of personal data for commercial purposes between the EU and the USA. In short, it would have made it easier for US companies to receive personal data from EU entities.
Even though the EU-US Privacy Shield was replaced by “International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles” both were declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in July 2020.
Consequently, especially website tools from the US are now even more difficult to incorporate in a legally secure way. For example, Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics. It may be tempting to ignore the complex world of GDPR. But, in the long run, this is neither beneficial for the trust with your audience. Nor is it worth the risk of high penalties and legal consequences.
How Should You Prepare for the GDPR Compliance?
Being prepared for the GDPR compliance will take some work. It will continue to be a challenge as new digital avenues are expanded.
First, businesses should run a risk management assessment to collect information on the processes they use. They should assess their connection with other data collecting or managing parties, and the personal data of their visitors necessary to conduct business.
Next, businesses need to draft new measures to focus on the protection and rights of their data subjects or consumers. Planning how to best prioritize privacy and security concerns as a top priority will help prevent breaches.
Finally, if you want to save time, money, and energy, hire a digitalization specialist. They will help you to create GDPR-compliant digital platforms.
The GDPR ruling is a monumental achievement for internet security for consumers but also for businesses. As centralized standards become more commonplace, it will be easier for businesses to navigate cybersecurity threats that come with a more diverse, open internet platform.
Putting the safety of consumer data as a top priority will ensure that consumers continue to feel safe and respected. They can engage with their favorite brands and explore new ones without worrying about data security. So, don’t let the GDPR compliance get in the way of successful digital business operations!
Contact Tenba Group, your favorite Chinese digital marketing agency, for a FREE CONSULTATION! We will make your digital presence secure so you can avoid GDPR obstacles and fines with ease!