Vend and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


Latest update: - Mikey Jarvis

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, comes into effect on 25 May 2018. It is a new, wide-sweeping data protection law that will set a high bar for global privacy rights and compliance. The GDPR will probably apply to you if your company is based in the EU or if you have customers or contacts in the EU.

The purpose of this guide is to give you details on how Vend is preparing for GDPR and to provide you with an overview of the new requirements to help you prepare for GDPR.

This guide is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We encourage you to work with legal and other professional advisers to determine exactly how the GDPR may apply to your organization.

What is Vend doing to prepare for GDPR?

Here at Vend, we are excited about the strong data privacy and security principles that GDPR emphasizes. We are busy working both to ensure we are compliant with GDPR by 25 May 2018. We’ve been working on a bunch of things including:

  • Reviewing and updating our internal data processes, procedures, data systems and documentation
  • Continuing to invest in our security infrastructure
  • Reviewing and updating our third party vendor contracts

We will release a Data Processing Agreement early next year to ensure we can support our customers to lawfully transfer EU personal data to Vend when GDPR comes into effect.

We are also looking to build features that will assist our customers in their compliance efforts. We’ll let you know more about our plans when details become available. In the meantime, we are keen to hear from you at privacy@vendhq.com about changes that we could make to our product that will assist our customers with their compliance.

Overview of GDPR

What is GDPR?

At its core, GDPR is a new set of rules designed to give citizens more control over their data. It aims to simplify the regulatory environment for business so both citizens and businesses can fully benefit from the digital economy.

Who does GDPR apply to?

The “extra-territorial” application of GDPR applies all organizations that process the personal data of EU residents or monitor individuals' behaviours conducted within the EU, regardless of the entity's location.

“Personal data” is broadly defined and means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject'). Personal data can be a name, address, bank details, email address, posts on social media, or even an IP address or a cookie ID.

Sensitive personal data, such as health information or information that reveals a person’s racial or ethnic origin, will require even greater protection. You should not store data of this nature within your Vend account.

Regardless of whether or not you believe your business will be impacted by GDPR, GDPR and its underlying principles may still be important to you. European law tends to set the trend for international privacy regulation, and greater privacy awareness now may increase your competitive advantage in the future.

Controller vs Processor

GDPR outlines different requirements for Controllers (entities who determine the purposes and means of the processing of personal data) and Processors (entities who process personal data as directed by a Controller).

Controllers will retain primary responsibility for data protection (including, for example, the obligation to report data breaches to data protection authorities); although GDPR does place some direct responsibilities on the processor too. Therefore it is important to work out whether you are acting as a controller or a processor, and, as such, to understand your obligations.

In most circumstances, in the context of the Vend services, our customers are acting as the controller. Our customers, for example, decide what information is uploaded to their Vend account. Vend is acting as a processor by performing services for our customers using Vend.

Some of the key points to note in respect of GDPR include:

Data protection by design and default

Under the “privacy by design” requirement of GDPR, you will need to design compliant policies, procedures and systems at the outset of product development. The “privacy by default” principle will require that, by default, only personal data that is necessary for a specific purpose is to be processed.

Lawfulness of processing

You will need to ensure that all processing of data is based on a lawful ground for processing. These are consent, performance of a contract, legal obligation, protection of vital interests, tasks carried out in the public interest, or legitimate interest balanced against the fundamental rights of data subjects.

Customer consent

Under GDPR, you might need to obtain consent to process the personal data of your customers or change how you currently obtain that consent. In particular, GDPR says that consent must be "freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous." You will need to review existing consent mechanisms, to ensure they present genuine and granular choice.

Children

GDPR includes specific parental-consent requirements when processing the personal data of users under the age of 16 (or lower depending on the country). You should consider whether parent consent is required and whether you need to change how you process customer data to either obtain parental consent or stop processing the date of customers under the age of 16.

Personal data breach notification

Data breaches must be notified to the relevant supervisory regulator as soon as possible, and in any event within 72 hours of the breach being identified. GDPR states that breaches that are unlikely to result in risks to individuals do not require reporting.

Data Protection Officer

Processors processing a significant volume of data, or processing ‘sensitive’ data, may be required to appoint a data protection officer (DPO). DPOs will be responsible for monitoring the data processing activities of the business and ensuring compliance with GDPR. It is expected that certain businesses may voluntarily appoint a DPO to help demonstrate an adoption of best practice procedures and strengthen any defence to regulatory investigation.

Enhanced rights for data subjects

EU citizens will have several important new rights under GDPR, including the right to be forgotten, the right to object, the right to rectification, the right of access, and the right of portability.

Penalties

Non-compliance with GDPR can result in very high financial penalties. Organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater).


Further reading on GDPR

Need more information? Below are links to some helpful GDPR resources:

https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/consultations/2013551/draft-gdpr-consent-guidance-for-consultation-201703.pdf

http://www.eugdpr.org/gdpr-faqs.html

https://gdpr-info.eu/

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/policies/privacy/docs/wpdocs/2011/wp187_en.pdf

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