Startups Guide Thrive GDPR Compliance

Startups: Guide to Thrive with GDPR Compliance in 2023

Since the EU’s¬†GDPR¬†came into effect, companies have been on their toes to keep up with the GDPR Compliance requirements. ¬†

GDPR data privacy law, famous for sanctioning more than a billion dollar fine on Meta for violating the EU cookie consent law, including more than 15 more sanctions and fines were issued in 2022: Coming to 2023 this is a data privacy regulator you don’t want to mess with.  

So, companies involved in personal data processing relating to data subjects in the European Union, regardless of their size and location, beware of the mighty GDPR. Now is the time to make your website/app GDPR-compliant.  

The processing of personal data means collecting, analyzing, and either sharing or selling that data to other companies or third parties.   

Startups or medium size businesses using Google Analytics, Google ads, or any third-party software are more likely to be involved in the collection, processing, and sharing or selling of personal data of EU citizens; they must get GDPR compliant.  

You want to avoid messing with GDPR’s hefty fines and the penalty if your business is based in the EU or collects and processes any personal data related to EU citizens.¬†¬†¬†

This means that even if your business is situated in the US, but you sell or share the personal data of an EU citizen, your business should be GDPR compliant.  

What is the Objective of GDPR?  

The core objective of GDPR is to give more control to the users of their data through Data Subject (The natural individual). Data subject access rights give users control of their data by allowing them to access, ask, delete, or withdraw their information from an organization! DSAR Management helps businesses automate the process and keep track of every data subject access request to have proof of consent when the audit arrives.   

GDPR enforces and obliges businesses or organizations to take consent from their users before collecting their data and provide them full transparency if they want to know more about their data and its usage. Let me show how exactly GDPR achieves its objective.  

  1. A business or organization with an appropriate “legal basis” is eligible to collect an individual’s personal data.¬†¬†
  1. Requires that the business or an organization must specify the purpose of data collection via their privacy policy or privacy notice before initializing data processing.  
  1. Requires that a business or an organization should ask for the data subject’s consent clearly and precisely. The permission should be freely given and not forced into. A data subject must be able to withdraw consent easily.¬†¬†
  1. Requires that if a data subject wants the business or an organization to delete users’ data, they must oblige to it. A company or organization has no legal basis for retaining data. They must minimize it wherever possible.¬†¬†
  1. Require businesses or organizations to implement technical or organizational measures to provide appropriate safety measures for data protection.  
  1. Businesses or organizations must take appropriate measures to mitigate the risk of data breaches and inform the proper authority within 72 hours if the violation occurs.  

Data privacy is the biggest concern not just for businesses but for the government sector too. There have been relatively large-scale data breaches that clearly show that data privacy and data security are what everybody needs.  

GDPR Non-Compliance: Keep Your Cheque Book Ready! 

Many businesses fear non-compliance with GDPR means losing $21 million or 4% of their global turnover. That’s not it! Every single violation can cost your business 7,500$, and the fines in the past, there has never been a single violation: It always comes in a bunch. ¬†¬†

GDPR understands the situations of business owners and startups and medium size enterprises. That’s why GDPR imposes fines on a discretionary basis and uses other corrective powers and sanctions to encourage businesses to comply with GDPR for their good and build trust in the eyes of the consumer.¬†¬†

“Corrective powers and sanctions “may include warnings, banning imposition on data processing, stipulating rectification or deletion of data, and suspending data transfers to non-EU countries.¬†¬†¬†

GDPR imposes stricter penalties for those who fail to comply with the data collection rules for children, process or share data without parent’s or guardian’s consent, and store data longer than its legal purpose.¬†¬†

And often, business owners miss a crucial point. It isn’t necessary to have a data breach within your business for it to be non-compliant with GDPR. Failure to action or non-compliant action can result in a penalty. This is why Startups must be extra cautious of the GDPR requirements.¬†¬†

There is a type of personal data called unique category data, which is highly sensitive. An individual may be at risk of unlawful discrimination if misused or disclosed without consent.  

As per GDPR, the business involved with special category data processing might need a different legal basis.  

  • Race¬†¬†
  • Ethnic origin¬†¬†
  • Sexual orientation¬†¬†
  • Religion¬†¬†
  • Political affiliation¬†¬†
  • Health¬†¬†
  • Genetics¬†¬†
  • Biometrics¬†¬†¬†
  • Trade union membership¬†¬†

How Startups can comply with GDPR  

The following considerations may indicate the essential tasks that will be needed for US businesses or startups to be GDPR compliant:  

Data Audit  

Auditing your data will give you insights enabling you to make informed decisions on how to comply with GDPR.  

Significant questions to audit your data:  

  1. The location where your data is stored.  
  1. Type of personal data that is being processed.  
  1. What is the legal basis for processing the data?  
  1. How long will you retain the data?  
  1. Who currently has access, and who shall have access in the future to personal data?  

Audit your service providers  

This is the single task that most US businesses need to catch up on. Auditing your services provider is one of the most crucial tasks as it involves the most significant chances of risks.   

You must review the agreements with third-party service providers who possess personal data on your behalf and sign data processing agreements. Under GDPR, the data controller must sign contracts, and the data processor shall act on the controllers’ instructions.¬†¬†

Suppose any of your data service providers fail to prove GDPR compliance for the US business; in that case, any work related to data subjects in the EU regarding their personal data is will deemed non-compliant and, therefore, subjected to GDPR penalties, putting the data controller at risk.  

Controllers and Processors  

As per new GDPR guidelines, you need to understand whether your business falls into the “processor of data” and “collector of data” categories.¬†¬†

The data controller is the entity that determines the data’s purpose and how that data is to be collected.¬†¬†

A data processor is an entity that works under the data controller and processes personal data on its behalf.  

There are different implications concerning how data controllers and data processors comply with the GDPR for US businesses. Your business could be both the data controller and data processor.  

GDPR and Cookie Consent: What businesses don’t know¬†

If the business doesn’t comply with the GPDR guidelines, it will be fined $21 million or 4% of its annual turnover, whichever is higher. Apart from the financial cost, being on the wrong books of GDPR means your business suffers huge reputational damages.¬†¬†
 

GDPR has fined many businesses and organizations as they didn’t take cookie consent from the user to collect personal data. The ePrivacy Regulator, better known as cookie law, supplements the GDPR by observing the tracking behavior businesses use online to manage the user’s data.¬†¬†¬†
 

In fact, as per reports, a website contains 72% of third parties cookies, and 18% are trojan horses, i.e., a cookie hiding deep within eight other cookies. These cookies are often loaded automatically onto the user’s browser causing a breach of consent and putting businesses at risk.¬†¬†
 

That’s why a CMP platform like Adzapier provides you with an Automated Cookie Blocking tool, mandatory as per GDPR for cookie consent, that helps you to categorize and block a third party’s cookie when a user doesn’t give consent. It provides a list of cookie hosts active on your website with our Cookie Scanner that makes your auto cookie blocking configuration easy.¬†¬†

Reputational Damage  

Losing credibility is a business’s worst nightmare. If analyzed intelligently, the total damage that non-compliance with GDPR could do to businesses’ reputations will be far more significant than the financial fines and monetary losses.¬†¬†

In the coming years, your competitors and marketers will compete to get GDPR compliant to win customers’ trust. In today’s time, compliance with GDPR should be used as a competitive advantage and not the other way around. Position yourself as the market leader. Don’t let this opportunity go in vain.¬†¬†

Conclusion: GDPR Compliance is Important for all  

From Startups to an Enterprise, GDPR complaint has become mandatory to do business in or with the people of the EU. Many companies now choose to appoint DPO to address GDPR compliance and requirements.  

Even if the data breach has not occurred, GDPR’s enforcement actions have already begun. A small hospital group in Portugal was fined $425,000 for non-compliance with GDPR. They didn’t have enough access controls for data processing. Another fine was levied on a large Canadian marketing business as they targeted users on social media and processed their personal information without any user’s consent or legal basis.¬†¬†

One-Stop Solution to all GDPR Complexities  

Adzapier’s CMP¬†will get your GDPR compliance in less than 30 mins. This will help you to reduce your legal obligations and provide a pragmatic solution to overcome any obstacle to GDPR compliance.¬†¬†

Also, the CMP provides cookie consent management, which helps you to comply with the EU’s cookie law. Give your customer a personalized cookie consent banner with Adzapier’s CMP, which will help you not only get more opt-ins but also help you with the segregation of personal data with their respective data subjects. This will streamline the process of the DSARs if need be.¬†¬†

GDPR is the reality of the data-driven world, and businesses must understand that complying with this law means your customers is the sure way to win customers’ trust.¬†¬†

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