A short guidance for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as the GDPR, by May 25, 2018. What is GDPR and Why is it Important? Learn more in our blog post.

What is GDPR and Why is it Important?

The GDPR is a European Union regulation that establishes a new framework for handling and protecting the personal data of EU-based residents. Personal data plays a big part in society and the economy. It is essential that people have – and know they have – control and clarity over how their data is used and protected by any organization they interact with, and that organizations are given clear guidelines to protect their personal data.

The GDPR provides important new and strengthened protections for those residing in the EEA and whose data may be collected, moved, stored and processed from and to anywhere in the world.

One of the aims of the GDPR is to harmonize and bring data privacy laws across Europe up to speed with the rapid technological change in the past two decades. It builds upon the current legal framework in the European Union, including the EU Data Protection Directive in existence since 1995.

In order to ensure that the protection of personal data remains a fundamental right for EU citizens, the aim of the GDPR is to modernise outdated privacy laws. The GDPR has the potential to impact any business that collects data in or from Europe.

Key Principles of GDPR

Who Does it Affect?

The scope of the GDPR is very broad. The GDPR will affect all organizations established in the EU, and all organizations involved in processing personal data of EU citizens. The latter is the GDPR’s introduction of the principle of “extraterritoriality”; meaning, the GDPR will apply to any organization processing personal data of EU citizens—regardless of where it is established, and regardless of where its processing activities take place. This means the GDPR could apply to any organization anywhere in the world, and all organizations should perform an analysis to determine whether or not they are processing the personal data of EU citizens. The GDPR also applies across all industries and sectors.

When Does it Come into Effect?

The GDPR was adopted in April 2016, but will officially be enforceable beginning May 25, 2018. There will not be a “grace period,” so it is important that organizations impacted by the GDPR get ready for it now.

GDPR: Key Changes

The GDPR brings with it a shift in mindset. It expressly introduces several principles that previously underpinned data protection law, such as the “accountability principle” and “privacy by design,” and encourages organizations to take more responsibility for protecting the personal data they handle.

How is the GDPR Different from the Directive? How are Obligations Changing?

While the GDPR preserves many principles established by the Directive, it introduces several important and ambitious changes. Here are a few that we believe are particularly relevant to HelloTeam and our customers:

Does the GDPR Say Anything About Cross-border Data Transfers?

Yes, the GDPR contains provisions that address the transfer of personal data from EU member states to third-party countries, such as the United States. The GDPR’s provisions regarding cross-border data transfers, however, do not radically differ from the provisions in place under the Directive. The GDPR, like the Directive, does not contain any specific requirement that the personal data of EU citizens be stored only in EU member states. Rather, the GDPR requires that certain conditions be met before personal data is transferred outside the EU, identifying a number of different legal grounds that organizations can rely on to perform cross-border data transfers.

One legal ground for transferring personal data set out in the GDPR is an “adequacy decision.” An adequacy decision is a decision by the European Commission that an adequate level of protection exists for the personal data in the country, territory, or organization where it is being transferred. The Privacy Shield framework constitutes one such example of an adequacy decision.

Does it Matter Whether You are a Controller or a Processor?

If you access personal data, you do so as either a controller or a processor, and there are different requirements and obligations depending on which category you are in. A controller is the organization that determines the purposes and means of processing personal data. A controller also determines the specific personal data that is collected from a data subject for processing. A processor is the organization that processes the data on behalf of the controller.

The GDPR has not changed the fundamental definitions of controller and processor, but it has expanded the responsibilities of each party.

Controllers will retain primary responsibility for data protection (including, for example, the obligation to report data breaches to data protection authorities); however, the GDPR does place some direct responsibilities on the processor, as well. Accordingly, it is important to understand whether you are acting as a controller or a processor, and to familiarize yourself with your responsibilities accordingly.

What is HelloTeam Doing to Comply with the GDPR?

HelloTeam is excited about the GDPR and the strong data privacy and security principles that it emphasizes, many of which HelloTeam instituted long before the GDPR was enacted. At HelloTeam, we believe that the GDPR is an important milestone in the data privacy landscape, and we are committed to achieving compliance with the GDPR on or before May 25, 2018.

HelloTeam’s GDPR preparation started more than a year ago, and as part of this process we are reviewing (and updating, where necessary) all of the internal processes, procedures, data systems, and documentation to ensure that we are ready when the GDPR goes into effect. While much of our preparation is happening behind the scenes, we are also working on a number of initiatives that will be visible to our users. We are, among other things:

In addition, we will be prepared to address any requests made by our customers related to their expanded individual rights under the GDPR:

What Should You Do if You are Administering Data for an Organization on HelloTeam?

You must lawfully obtain and process personal data from your subscribers and contacts. The personal data of your employees may be collected and transferred to HelloTeam via our user- friendly, clean and descriptive import/sync wizards. Automated import/sync processes help optimizing time for data transfers to HelloTeam, but it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that you obtain consent from your employees and contractors to send their information to HelloTeam for processing.

If an employee requires to be forgotten or asks for a change/deletion of his/her data, stored on HelloTeam, which you do not have access to, it is YOUR responsibility to forward this information without delay. This will allow us to react appropriately and in a timely manner and fulfill employee’s request without delays. For this purpose you can use the contact support forms in the HelloTeam system or write directly to “support@helloteam.com”.

You should ensure that you are keeping accurate records for all employees and contractors. HelloTeam system is not responsible for any inconsistent or incorrect data stored in each organization’s database, managed by each organization administrators themselves.

Keep in mind that any consent you obtain from your subscribers and contacts must comply with the GDPR requirements, irrespective of when that consent was obtained. However, Recital 171 of the GDPR indicates that you may continue to rely on any existing consent which meets the GDPR standards for consent. This means that it is not necessary to re-request consent from your subscribers or contacts when the GDPR goes into effect so long as you met all of the requirements of the GDPR when you initially obtained consent. We recommend consulting with local counsel to determine if consent obtained prior to the GDPR complies with its requirements, or whether you should instead contact your subscribers and contacts to re-request consent in accordance with the GDPR requirements, or rely on a different lawful basis for your processing under the GDPR.

You should review the privacy statement and practices applicable to your organization and ensure that they provide proper notice that the personal data of your subscribers or contacts will be transferred to HelloTeam and processed by HelloTeam. For example, you may want to consider updating your privacy statement to include language that specifically identifies HelloTeam as one of your processors and delineates the applicable processing activities performed by HelloTeam, such as the collection and storage of personal data and the transfer of personal data to certain HelloTeam’s sub-processors.

Read our GDPR Data Processing Addendum, Last update: May 23, 2018

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