European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has increased the level of transparency in terms of customer’s privacy. Some individuals may be misconceiving GDPR with a complete replacement of Data Protection Act. Yet it is an addition of new elements and significant enhancements to it. From 25 May 2018, the current data protection Act is completely focused on 4 R’s of Customers:
- Right to Know
- Right to object
- Right to restrict
- Right to erasure
Any kind of violation is subject to a hefty fine (€20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater). In general, GDPR is designed to secure the European citizens from any kind of personal data breach. It applies to any businesses who collects, stores, and shares the data of EU residents.
With an effect of GDPR, the software development companies must be completely accountable for any kind of data breach. Therefore, here comes a great need to revise the existing development policies and build new strategies to be GDPR compliant.
Below are some technical and organizational methods to develop GDPR compliant software:
1. Track Data Mapping & Handling Practices
You need to document & organize the customer’s personal data that you are holding currently. Whether it came from any third party or you are sharing it further, you need to document and audit it. It would become easy for you to recollect whenever you asked to produce it.
In case, you are linked to any third-party then you need to manage the risks involved effectively. You may renew your contracts or agreements with them. It will help you to maintain a vendor data privacy risk assessment process.
If you deal with a business that collects data more than it actually requires, then clean it up. Otherwise, you will be out of the security game soon.
Apart from the existing data storage, you should keep it simple and documented while creating a new software. Avoid unnecessary access of consumer’s personal data. Avoid developing software that has least or no security built in its design.
‘Microsoft’s GDPR Assessments’ is a perfect solution to check website’s compliance with every aspect of the new European GDPR, data privacy regulations. You simply need to answer a few questions related to your website. It will show you the results based on several factors as shown below:
2. Keep a Check on Your Plugin & Suppliers
If you are owning any eCommerce platform like Magento, WordPress etc., then you must be using plugins to address diverse business needs.
It would be a good practice to code a plugin that uses less of customer database storage on the server. The reason being if the server gets compromised, the stored customer data will be at a higher risk. And, you will be completely liable for the mess.
There are various tools available in the market to check your plugin’s compliance with GDPR. For e.g., you can make sure that your plugin is GDPR ready by doing a simple Plugin Check.
3. Customize Your Contact Forms
With the new GDPR guidelines, the customer consent on receiving any kind of data or sharing their personal data will become crucial. You need to look for improving/refreshing the existing consents to be GDPR compliant (if not). A perfect consent needs to be focused on providing genuine choice or control for sure.
While developing any new website or software that contains contact forms, you need to provide the customers with a complete flexibility. It would be of great use if you can provide a link to a page where you share every niche detail of sharing consumer’s data.
For more info, you may check ‘How to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant?’
4. Internal/External Data Privacy Management Activities
5. Hire Data Protection Officers
If you are a large enterprise or a public authority, you can hire data protection officers. Such professionals will do a complete check on your business activities to see whether they fall under GDPR compliance or not.
You can also take help from an external data protection advisor. Testing them on adequate knowledge to support and carry out a smooth process is a must.
EU’s GDPR is going to revolutionize the way to collect, analyze and use data for advertisements. It would leave a huge impact on the marketing processes of software Web development companies.
It has become necessary to put the privacy system in an accord with GDPR guidelines. Since the process involves:
- Many aspects of data security,
- A severe penalty,
- and a not so far deadline,
it should be on top of your priorities if you are serving EU residents.
Not sure where to begin? Try contacting an expert (well-versed with all the privacy policies, procedures, data protection regulations).
I would like to introduce myself as Kapil Arora, a digital marketing enthusiast. I am currently associated with ‘The Brihaspati Infotech’. The above-mentioned research does not hold any legal responsibility. It is a complete work of individual research.