General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has become a landmark bill for data protection laws across the globe. It is setting precedents across the world. The GDPR is no longer only a set of principles that uphold privacy of the users but also a cornerstone of the legal framework for technology and science firms across the EU. It has a global impact and this influence can be seen in laws such as the CCPA, and LGPD.
It includes a comprehensive set of rules that have been created to tackle modern challenges related to data protection and privacy. As the growth of technology has been overarching on the user’s privacy and has taken away control from data subjects. The law has been designed to help with the return of control back to the data subject as the true and sole owners of their own personal data.
The unique nature and approach of the regulation not only makes it effective but also compels businesses to learn how to deal with this new regulatory environment.
It also encourages businesses on how to avoid attracting any fines or other sanctions.
And businesses have been given substantial time to ensure that.
More about time and historical context of the law
On 14th April 2016, the governments across the EU approved GDPR. It was an extensive list of regulations that would monitor and regulate the flow of personal data of the EU residents in and out of organisations.
25th May 2018 was set as the date of enforcement of this law.
This gave organisations a good 2-year period to prepare and implement their processes to be compliant with the GDPR.
A big part of this sea change is how organisations implement GDPR training to the relevant departments and staff members.
It is important for members of organisations at all levels to be aware of the laws in place, how their roles will evolve as the rules change, and how they can stay relevant in this new business environment.
Only an introduction to the GDPR is not enough; they should have extensive knowledge of the regulation and its application.
The contemporary need for the training:
Data privacy protection regulators are becoming more and more stringent. This is due to the growing concerns and increasing complexity of the information systems across the world. As technology evolves and becomes more and more sophisticated; it is important to protect the interests and civil liberties of individuals in the democratic world.
The GDPR is a defining and driving force that has promulgated many new regulations around the world. These regulations act to protect data privacy online and offline by helping to secure improvements within data security. The right and ownership over the personal data lies with the data subject under these laws. The personal data protection ensures that even the most sophisticated of organizations that go beyond just complying with all the new requirements now have to work harder to comply. They are required to build trust with consumers and users and stand out from their competitors.
Businesses exist in an ecosystem; not a vacuum
Contemporary businesses cannot exist in a vacuum. This is why the training in the area of legal privacy compliance and ensuring the data security and safety is essential now. It comes as no surprise that data protection legislation is legally binding on organisations and it takes specialists to make sure that an organisation is fully compliant with the law.
So, it is best to convert your existing workforce into well-equipped personnel to ensure compliance at every level of the business automatically in an adequate way. All employees can undertake this training, it is super simple and easy to do so.
Who should undertake training in GDPR?
Any and every business that deals with personal data of the EU residents should understand the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) inside out. This applies to organisations headquartered both outside and inside of the EU.
The people responsible for implementing the GDPR related changes should understand the purpose of the regulation.
However, it is not just the IT department or the top management that is directly dealing with the personal data that should be aware of the regulations and all its details.
All employees of an organisation that have anything to do with the storage and processing of personal data in any form should undertake GDPR staff training courses.
GDPR training is important so that they do not make one silly mistake that snowballs into a hefty fine.
Employees should have complete clarity over what information falls under the GDPR domain. They should have comprehensive knowledge about the obligations of the data controller.
Furthermore, they must know how to implement the processes in compliance with the GDPR requirements. All employees must have a full understanding of the rights of the data subjects under the regulation, and so on.
The proper GDPR training course provides all this information to the employees so that they are ready for the new regulatory environment. Just make sure that the employees are actively participating in the training programme and that the business is good to go. This will not take much time. It is recommended that all employees go through this training and also revise over time.
Why is there a need for GDPR training?
It is clearly stated in the GDPR document that organisations should take all the ‘technical and organisational’ measures to ensure compliance. GDPR training falls well under that category.
Employees have to understand the monetary costs as well as the reputational loss that an organisation may have to bear as a consequence of their actions.
Apart from this, there are multiple reasons for organisations to undertake GDPR training efforts seriously:
✓ Of course, the fines!
The first and foremost reason for most organisations to implement a GDPR training course are the hefty fines that can come to haunt them if they are found to be infringing under the GDPR.
Depending on the gravity of the infringement, an organisation can be charged a fine of up to €20 million or 4% of the global annual turnover, whichever is higher. These are not small numbers.
A fine like this may mean the end of a medium-sized business. This alone makes GDPR training more than worth it.
Apart from this, a breach of the law can also attract several sanctions from the supervisory authority.
✓ The intensity of the fines
Remember that an organisation can be slapped with both a fine and a penalty. Now, sanctions under GDPR can be mild to severe.
Organisations may be reprimanded for their tardiness, which then goes on their record; they can be temporarily banned from sending or receiving data from foreign countries; they can even be punished by rescinding their permission to store and/or process data.
Whatever the case is, GDPR training will minimise the probability of an organisation finding itself on the receiving end of such fines and sanctions.
✓ Only compliant processes cannot furnish results
To comply with GDPR, putting the right processes in place is a necessity for businesses in the EU. However, establishing the right processes is not enough. Organisations need to have staff members that have undergone proper GDPR training to make those processes work.
If the processes are completely secure and compliant with GDPR, but the staff members using these processes have no idea how to deal with the personal data at hand, the end result can be disastrous.
Not only that, but organisations also have to cover all bases to avoid the fines – processes and people. They cannot let something as basic as a human error cost them enormous fines and loss of reputation.
✓A strong case for the defence
If you are aware of how the regulatory authorities are going to levy fines on flouting GDPR laws, then you must know that they take action based on the typical nature of the cases. They analyse the situation to understand what the level of preparedness was.
They pay heed to the fact that the organisation has taken all the necessary measures to safeguard personal data.
Law enforcing agents will then understand that the data breach under investigation happened despite the safeguards in place, which makes a strong case for the organisation. Your organisation will only have to spare a few hours of the trainee’s day and get the most preventative training that can be done in the context of the GDPR.
GDPR training will be a critical factor that can help organisations if they ever find themselves in that position. Trained staff prepped for a data breach is a brownie point in favour of the organisation, for sure.
✓ Stay ahead of the breaches
While external audits and software solutions can help your organisation ensure that you stay GDPR compliant, there is no replacement for GDPR training of staff members.
If the staff members are not trained to be compliant with the GDPR laws, then organisations will find themselves running into sanctions and fines, time and again.
Trained employees are not only more careful and mindful of the GDPR compliance requirements, but they also serve as a failsafe mechanism for the organisation.
Employees can identify areas where there is a security gap or a possibility of infringement and raise a flag. This gives the organisation time to deal with the situation before it escalates into something big.
Your staff can only recognise such issues when they have a proper understanding of what the new regulation is all about. That is precisely what GDPR training offers them.
What does the GDPR training include?
GDPR training for the employees should not only help them understand what GDPR is all about but also educate them on how to behave under a GDPR regime to ensure the security of data and privacy. Seers provides a holistic and comprehensive training.
They should have useful information that they can use whenever they are faced with certain situations in their regular workday.
✓ Securing personal information
The employees should know that they will have to start inculcating secure habits in order to keep the personal data safe that they deal with on a daily basis.
The employees need to learn about safety practices like creating safe passwords, locking computers when unattended, destroying confidential information when dumping it, being wary of opening emails from an unknown email address, and more.
The staff should understand that small steps such as these go a long way.
✓ Storing relevant data
The GDPR training will also shed light on how the employees should deal with the personal data of the data subjects.
Employees should only use or have access to information that is relevant to the purpose of the business and delete all the information that is no longer needed.
They should also be clear about any changes in the rules of consent.
If the organisation is monitoring the activities of the employees, then they should be made aware of that fact, so that they can appreciate the significance of the situation and act responsibly.
✓ Sharing personal data
Employees should be aware of the various pitfalls that they may have to face. The workforce may be trained to ensure that they do not divulge the personal data they deal with and are not tricked into giving out personal data to unauthorised personnel or sources.
They should be ready in the face of such situations. There is a need for the employees to carry out proper checks before sharing any personal information.
The employees should also be aware of how much information they are allowed to share on telephones or in person, and when they need to write permission from the data subjects before sharing any additional personal information.
✓ Dealing with data subjects
Employees must know that data subjects have a right under GDPR to ask about the status of their data. They can ask to modify, delete their data, or even withdraw their consent at any point in time.
Furthermore, employees should know that organisations have to respond to requests from data subjects in a stipulated frame of time, they can charge fees for information in some instances, and more.
It is possible that the employee does not have the required clearance to give the information a data subject is asking for. In that case, employees should be aware of whom they can refer the case to.
✓ The coverage of the training program
GDPR training will broadly cover these points and more. The idea is to prepare the employee for the new regulatory environment and to make sure that there are no hiccups along the way.
However, designing a handbook, creating videos, or hiring an external training agency is not enough to make sure that your employees are well aware of all the GDPR regulations relevant to them. It is vital to ensure that the employees are absorbing the information meted out to them.
How can organisations engage their employees?
GDPR training has become an important topic in boardroom discussions. However, GDPR training will only be effective if the employees understand the significance of the recent changes and implement these practices in their day to day routine.
✓ Trickle-down training
Data and its security are on the priority list of top-level management today. That is the kind of importance they hold.
Like any other significant organisation-wide change, the intent of GDPR compliance has to come from the top brass.
If the CEO or the CTO does not understand GDPR, or if they do not endorse GDPR training, then there is a good chance that the rest of the organisation will not take it seriously either.
✓ Outline the rules clearly
The organisation should clearly outline the data handling habits of employees and the processes that have been put in place to protect that data.
Every employee should read the policy, and they should duly sign it. It will not only impress upon the employees the importance that the organisation is placing on data protection but also serve as a reference document for the employees to refer to.
✓ Inculcate a habit
Laying down the rules to ensure GDPR compliance is one thing, but the training will be a success only when the importance of privacy is ingrained in the employees and into everyday processes.
So, data protection should be included in the mission and vision statements of the company, in the job descriptions of these employees, as well as their performance reviews.
Such grass root changes signal to the employees the seriousness that the organisation attaches to GDPR, in particular, and data privacy and protection, in general.
✓ Limited access
By making every kind of data available to all employees, organisations do not only run the risk of leaking the data, but also undermine the significance of the data itself.
When organisations make access to personal data for employees limited to a certain degree, it is automatically implied that they cannot access specific data because it is above their pay grade or requirement for their specific role.
This kind of culture throughout the organisation will not only add to the focus on data privacy but will also impress upon them the importance of GDPR training.
✓ Make GDPR training interesting
Everything said and done, GDPR training is an additional effort for employees. People are not particularly excited about studying new policies and regulations. So, the onus falls on the organisation to make the GDPR training sessions more palatable.
They can do this by making them more relevant to the job roles of the employees, by adding animations. They may include flexible teaching methods or activities or make it available online, so it is more flexible for employees to complete. This will ensure that employees not only fulfil a formality but absorb what they are being taught.
GDPR training is an absolute must for organisations. Unless the organisation creates an engaging and useful GDPR training program, it cannot ensure that all its employees are behaving in the ‘right’ manner under the new regulatory environment.
✓ Results of the training
While it is easy to overlook GDPR training, the fines that result from non-compliance will not be easy to bear. Without proper GDPR training, organisations are always at the risk of bleeding out some personal data of data subjects.
The amount of GDPR fines and the sheer focus on this new regulation should be enough for organisations to understand that lawmakers are taking GDPR very seriously and its violators will have to pay through their nose.
Please make sure that your organisation is not one of these. Ensure that your staff are provided proper GDPR training that they need to protect you from General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) non-compliance.
Please make sure that your organisation is not one of those that are not compliant under the GDPR law. Give your staff the GDPR training they need to protect your organisation from GDPR non-compliance. Start today, it will only take a few hours and save your firm from a lot of trouble forever. Prevent the worst from happening, do it now.