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10 Steps to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant

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10 Steps to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant


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Black Pearl Matrix

How to Prepare for the GDPR:

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What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a law governed by the European Union (EU). While it protects EU citizens, it applies to any company globally that collects personal data from those EU citizens.
In other words, if your business website has visitors from the EU and collects data, such as email addresses for marketing purposes or cookies for advertising, about those visitors, you are subject to GDPR rules.
The initial law came into effect in 2018, and has since been updated to include additional guidance for companies in order to create further clarification on previously unclear rules. As it stands today, both EU and non-EU companies (including those based in the US) have been involved in trials involving the GDPR for non-compliance.
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Well then, starting from these introductory considerations, let us examine the legal principles as considered by GDPR in relation to processing:

     • Goal;
     • Adequacy;
     • Need;
     • Free access;
     • Data quality;
     • Transparency;
     • Safety;
     • Prevention;
     • Non-discrimination;
     • Accountability and accountability.
A single fine against a business for non-compliance with the GDPR can reach €20 million for serious breaches and up to €10 million for minor breaches. Obviously, the GDPR is not a law you want to take chances with. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your company’s compliance:
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1- Get an Expert to Help

Before you do anything else, you should consider hiring a GDPR expert to guide your business and help you stay compliant. Your specialist should have a clear understanding of the type of business you run, the services you provide and the type of data you collect.
This must be a legal expert who can also help you with drafting a privacy policy and cookie policy that meets the requirements of the GDPR.
Some companies are obliged to appoint an EU representative who acts as a liaison between them and the EU. You will need to do this if you are a non-EU company offering goods or services to people in the EU, or monitoring the behavior of people in the EU, as with the collection of cookies.  

2- Determine What Data You Collect

In this case, only relevant data should be processed, that is, those that are essential for the previously outlined objective to be achieved. Nor could it be otherwise, as it would be completely inappropriate for data to be processed that do not prove to be pertinent and relevant to the treatment in question.
Next, you and your specialist, if you have one, must determine what kind of data you collect from visitors or customers. Under the GDPR, all the personal data you collect could become an issue if you don’t make it known that you’re collecting it and what visitors can do about it. The GDPR defines personal data as follows:
“Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (data subject); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, namely by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social status of that natural person.” – GDPR, Article 4
Someone’s name, customer number and address are all examples of personal data. Cookies are also considered personal data because they are used to identify a person when they return to your website.
The emphasis on transparency wants to highlight the importance that the LGPD gives
to the flow of information for the holder of the processed data, after all, he, the holder, together with his data, constitute the most important elements of the entire processing process.

3- Write a Detailed Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy

Using the information you have just collected about your personal data collection, you will need to find out your privacy policy and cookies policy. A privacy policy details all the ways in which you may collect data from people who visit your site, including when they register an account or leave a comment. A cookie policy only focuses on the cookies you collect and what they are for.
By law, these documents must be on your site and easy to find, so it’s best to place them in your navigation menu, header or footer.

4- Give People A Way To Walk Away

One of the most important things you can do for GDPR compliance is to provide people with an easy way to opt out of having their data collected. Nobody should be forced to accept their data collection practices, and they should always know that giving their information to you is their own choice.
GDPR compliant websites also include a way to opt out of the collection of cookies. You will normally see these as small pop-up bars at the top or bottom of your screen when you visit a website.
These will include options such as “Accept all cookies”, “Opt out of accepting all cookies”, or “Manage cookies”. This gives visitors a way to control the type of cookies you collect on them, or decline them altogether.

5- Keep Your Policies Updated

Your privacy and cookie policies should be updated whenever your collection methods change, so be sure to revisit them if you change how you collect email addresses for your list or install a new plugin for your website.
Also, update the date of your policy to reflect your most recent modifications, and let your visitors know of the update by adding a notification to your homepage, sending an email, or another method of notification.
GDPR compliance can be challenging, especially as data collection and the use of cookies are not things the average website owner is experienced with. By implementing the above tips and recruiting a data privacy and compliance expert, you can ensure your website is compliant.

6- Make Sure You Get Informed, Verifiable, and Explicit Consent

The user must be clearly informed of what he is consenting to and the mechanisms chosen to obtain consent must involve his clear and positive action, such as clicking on the “I accept” button or checking a checkbox. It should also be clear that consent is optional and must be obtained “freely” without any coercive nature.

For example:

“Yes, I would like to receive weekly offers and promotions in my inbox as indicated in the privacy policy (optional).”

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7- Give the Possibility to Withdraw Consent

Since withdrawing consent should be as easy as giving it, the procedure should be visible, understandable, simple and readily accessible. The consent withdrawal mechanism must be generally available and on a single web page. It should also be accompanied by an explanation of its purpose, for example:
“If you no longer wish to receive our weekly emails, click here to change your settings or unsubscribe immediately”
As shown in the example above, the most common method is to insert an unsubscribe link into emails. However, it is important to remember that the user must have the option to cancel the subscription by logging in through their account, even before receiving the first email.
User withdrawal requests must be honored within 10 days under US law and within 30 days under EU law.

8- Keep a Record of Evidence of Consent

Consent records must include at least the following information:

     • The identity of the user who gave consent;
     • When consent was given;
     • The information that was provided to the user when he consented to the processing of data;
     • The methods used to obtain consent (eg via subscription form, newsletter, during checkout, etc.);
     • An indication of whether consent has been withdrawn or not.
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9- Procedures on the Rights of Data Subjects

Any activity carried out with personal data and sensitive personal data is called treatment, from collection, use, transmission, storage, to disposal.
All procedures must undergo reassessment in order to guarantee the rights of data subjects.
That is, holders have the right to have their data deleted, in addition to the right to know about the use of their private information.
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10- Use of Encryption and Pseudonymization

Unlike anonymization, pseudonymization does not exclude the incidence of the GDPR on the personal data processed. It only represents a safer means of processing personal data when there is still an interest in keeping the holder’s direct identifiers. The idea is that these are kept separately.
According to the GDPR, data anonymization is an organizational and technical security measure, to allow the protection of users and sensitive information.
The company must ensure data protection through security processes, such as information encryption and other governance processes.
However, the law makes it clear that data that has gone through an anonymization process can be used for research, as long as it is not possible to trace the user.



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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Making Your Site GDPR Compliant

1. How can a company comply with GDPR?

Create a GDPR adequacy committee, map the flow of data in the company, review what data is collected and whether there is a legal basis, ensure transparent communication with the data subject and review and adapt contracts, have a section on your website dedicated to privacy policies and other important documents.

2. What are the necessary adaptations for companies in the GDPR?

Adaptation requires a continuous process that must be aligned with the business and that needs to reach all sectors of the company. Thus, a mature Privacy and Data Protection program needs to act on three fronts: technology, processes and people.

3. What changes in marketing with the GDPR?

The big question that Marketing professionals will face with the GDPR is exactly this: their strategies for collecting data and attracting potential customers. The digital medium has brought the possibility of collecting numerous information about people, but with the new law in force, the treatment of these assets can only be carried out by providing unequivocal consent from the data subject.

4. What are the impacts of the GDPR on your business?

Adequacy of internal processes, mapping of irregularities, implementation of the information security policy and improvements in the relationship with users.

5. How do I know if I need to comply with GDPR?

The GDPR is a law that applies to any company, whether public or private, that processes personal data, including those collected before the start of the obligation. If your company handles personal information, it must comply with the law.
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As you have seen, the General Data Protection Law is practically causing a revolution in the way personal data is treated. That’s why companies must understand it and adapt to it as soon as possible, and don’t forget that fines can reach up to 2% of the organization’s revenue, with a limit that exceeds US$ 9 million per violation.
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