For users it means more safety, for companies, more stress: the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR has been in effect for over a year now and still presents a challenge for companies, especially for start-ups. How can a small company comply with all the regulations? The following checklist can help!  

The new European General Data Protection Regulation went into effect on May 25, 2018, and companies that collect data in countries of the European Union need to comply with the strict new rules about protecting user data. However, one year later, many companies are still failing to do so. How come? 

It’s not because companies don’t care about their customers’ data— quite the opposite. However, implementing the numerous new regulations during regular business hours is a big challenge. Especially for start-ups, it’s not easy to follow the GDPR “on the fly” while also dealing with new product launches, team building, and looking for investors. 

Violate the GDPR – and there goes your image

Nevertheless, it is important for start-ups to take the time and make sure they are in compliance with the GDPR. Otherwise, they might be facing large fines. Companies that violate the GDPR can be fined up to 20 million Euros, or four percent of their revenue, depending on which one is higher. 

That aside, violating data protection laws is bad for your image. What customer will trust a company where their data is not safe? Dealing with a damaged reputation is especially hard on start-ups, who are still building up their image. 

So how can start-ups manage to both deal with their stressful day-to-day business and implement the GDPR? The following checklist can help!

1. Appoint a data protection officer

Does a small start-up really need a DPO? Yes!

The fact of the matter is: if there are ten people in your company – this includes freelancers or interns – you are required by law to have a DPO. If your start-up handles sensitive user data you will have to name a DPO regardless of the number of employees, even if you are just a one-person business. 

Your DPO can either be one of your own employees or an outside expert. An internal DPO makes sense if you already have a specialist on your team. For most small companies however, who lack the manpower and/or expertise, or simply value an objective opinion, an outside expert might be a better choice. 

Keep in mind though that putting an outside expert on the payroll might be more than your company can afford. Also, it might be difficult for an outsider to understand and handle your internal processes reliably. 

A third option is therefore to give your internal DPO support with smart data protection software. 

2. Document everything

The GDPR requires companies to document everything regarding the collection, analysis and evaluation of data. This includes: 

  • Regulating who has access to the office? 
  • Making sure who handles which data and who has access to it? 
  • Passing on data has to be GDPR compliant. 
  • Protecting data through virus programs and backups. 
  • Assuring that data that is collected for different purposes is processed separately.  

3. Make sure your technology is up to date 

These new documentation requirements mean: technology has to ensure data protection by design. In order to make sure this is the case in your company, you will have to look at all the processes related to data management, and possibly update or completely change them. 

Important: a technical update alone is usually not enough. Your employees have to be informed and made aware of the changes related to handling data correctly. 

4. Protect users’ rights

This sound like an awful lot of work for your start-up. However, you should keep in mind that all of this is about keeping your customers’ data safe. 

For many consumers, knowing that their personal data is protected is a priority when deciding what product or service to choose. If they know that your company can guarantee their data will be safe, they are more likely to trust you. 

This means that, according to the GDPR, among other things, you have to assure your users the following data rights: 

  • the right of access 
  • the right to be informed 
  • the right to rectification and the right to restrict processing of their data
  • the right to be forgotten 
  • the right to object

5. Pridatect 360: GDPR compliance for start-ups

No doubt, start-ups face many challenges when implementing the GDPR. On top of this, just setting everything up once is not enough. You will have to make sure that the regulations are constantly being monitored, adapted, and updated.  

Even with a DPO and a well-trained team, this will not be easy. Neither an expert nor your employees can make sure that every process is GDPR-compliant at all times. On the other hand, a software program like Pridatect 360 can! 

The smart data protection tool ensures that data processing in your company will be GDPR-compliant so your team can focus on its main tasks. Pridatect 360 offers the following services: 

  • Guarantee and monitor compliance: since the tool monitors and automatically documents all data processing activities in your company, it can help your DPO keep an eye on everything. 
  • Comprehensive management of activities: Pridatect 360 automatically generates data reports and data maps that show how data is moving throughout the company.
  • Smart data protection: all relevant data processing activities are in one place – no annoying post-it notes, excel files, or large folders needed. Pridatect 360 can also automatically distribute tasks, such as data processing tasks, to the appropriate employee. 
  • Assessments: With the all-inclusive-package, you can ask the software to perform risk assessments when needed, and to generate risk maps. This will also save you the money on an expensive external assessment.  

Lisa Hofman, DPO at Pridatect has experienced in her own work how helpful this software can be for start-ups: “Pridatect 360 covers everything, from extensive risk analyses to reporting data protection violations,” she says. “Everything is intuitive, automatic, with short commands. This makes the tasks of the DPO so much easier and saves a lot of time.” 

This makes Pridatect 360 a fast, reliable and affordable tool for start-ups that want to implement GDPR regulations during their stressful day-to-day. Get your free trial today!