Friday, May 25, 2018

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - Data Governance & Compliance - Guidance & Resources

Posting this as I feel that as of the 25th of May 2018... Organisations and data protection professionals could still.. use this to better understand the new Act and ensure compliance.

The previous Data Protection Act, passed a generation ago, failed to account for today’s internet and digital technologies, social media and big data.

The new Act updates existing data protection laws, and sits alongside the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is also due to take effect starting from the 25th of May. The Act implements the EU Law Enforcement Directive, as well as extending data protection laws to areas which are not covered by the GDPR.

The growing digital economy relies on consumer trust to make it work. The Act, along with the GDPR provides a modernised, comprehensive package to protect people’s personal data in order to build that trust.

Our personal data is a version of each of us – what we’ve done, what we’ve read, where we’ve been and who is in our network. It is our health status, our financial decisions, our political beliefs and affiliations. Our desire to book a flight, update our browser, or sign up for a service should not be governed merely by terms and conditions set by an organisation.  Life is too short to decipher fine print.

The new laws provide tools and strengthened rights to allow people to take back control of their personal data.

The legislation requires increased transparency and accountability from organisations, and stronger rules to protect against theft and loss of data with serious sanctions and fines for those that deliberately or negligently misuse data.

This law is not about fines. It’s about putting the consumer and citizen first. Telling people we can’t lose sight of that.

The creation of the Data Protection Act 2018 is not an end point, it’s just the beginning, in the same way that preparations for the GDPR don’t end on 25 May 2018. From this date, we’ll be enforcing the GDPR and the new Act but we all know that effective data protection requires clear evidence of commitment and ongoing effort.

It’s an evolutionary process for organisations –no business, industry sector or technology stands still. Organisations must continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond 2018.

Governed by these laws, organisations will have the incentive and the opportunity to put people at the heart of their data services. Being fair, clear and accountable to their customers and employees, organisations large and small will be able to innovate with the confidence that they are building deeper digital trust.

Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation 

The Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) explains the provisions of the GDPR to help organisations comply with its requirements. It is for those who have day-to-day responsibility for data protection.

Who does the GDPR apply to?

The GDPR applies to ‘controllers’ and ‘processors’.

A controller determines the purposes and means of processing personal data.

A processor is responsible for processing personal data on behalf of a controller.
If you are a processor, the GDPR places specific legal obligations on you; for example, you are required to maintain records of personal data and processing activities. You will have legal liability if you are responsible for a breach.

However, if you are a controller, you are not relieved of your obligations where a processor is involved – the GDPR places further obligations on you to ensure your contracts with processors comply with the GDPR.

The GDPR applies to processing carried out by organisations operating within the EU. It also applies to organisations outside the EU that offer goods or services to individuals in the EU.

The GDPR does not apply to certain activities including processing covered by the Law Enforcement Directive, processing for national security purposes and processing carried out by individuals purely for personal/household activities.

What information does the GDPR apply to?

Personal data

The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.

This definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, including name, identification number, location data or online identifier, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people.

The GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems where personal data are accessible according to specific criteria. This could include chronologically ordered sets of manual records containing personal data.

Personal data that has been pseudonymised – eg key-coded – can fall within the scope of the GDPR depending on how difficult it is to attribute the pseudonym to a particular individual.

Sensitive personal data

The GDPR refers to sensitive personal data as “special categories of personal data” (see Article 9).

The special categories specifically include genetic data, and biometric data where processed to uniquely identify an individual.

Personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences are not included, but similar extra safeguards apply to its processing (see Article 10).

What is personal data?

The GDPR applies to the processing of personal data that is:

wholly or partly by automated means; or

the processing other than by automated means of personal data which forms part of, or is intended to form part of, a filing system.

Personal data only includes information relating to natural persons who:

can be identified or who are identifiable, directly from the information in question; or

who can be indirectly identified from that information in combination with other information.

Personal data may also include special categories of personal data or criminal conviction and offences data. These are considered to be more sensitive and you may only process them in more limited circumstances.

Pseudonymised data can help reduce privacy risks by making it more difficult to identify individuals, but it is still personal data.

If personal data can be truly anonymised then the anonymised data is not subject to the GDPR. It is important to understand what personal data is in order to understand if the data has been anonymised.

Information about a deceased person does not constitute personal data and therefore is not subject to the GDPR.

Information about companies or public authorities is not personal data.

However, information about individuals acting as sole traders, employees, partners and company directors where they are individually identifiable and the information relates to them as an individual may constitute personal data.

What happens when different organisations process the same data for different purposes?

It is possible that although data does not relate to an identifiable individual for one controller, in the hands of another controller it does.

This is particularly the case where, for the purposes of one controller, the identity of the individuals is irrelevant and the data therefore does not relate to them.

However, when used for a different purpose, or in conjunction with additional information available to another controller, the data does relate to the identifiable individual.

It is therefore necessary to consider carefully the purpose for which the controller is using the data in order to decide whether it relates to an individual.

You should take care when you make an analysis of this nature.

GDPR Principles

The GDPR sets out seven key principles:

  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  • Purpose limitation
  • Data minimisation
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability

These principles should lie at the heart of your approach to processing personal data.

What’s new under the GPDR?   

The principles are broadly similar to the principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (the 1998 Act).

  1998 Act:                           GDPR:
  Principle 1 – fair and lawful   Principle (a) – lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  Principle 2 – purposes   Principle (b) – purpose limitation
  Principle 3 – adequacy   Principle (c) – data minimisation
  Principle 4 – accuracy   Principle (d) – accuracy
  Principle 5 - retention   Principle (e) – storage limitation
  Principle 6 – rights           No principle – separate provisions in Chapter III
  Principle 7 – security   Principle (f) – integrity and confidentiality
  Principle 8 – international transfers   No principle – separate provisions in Chapter V (no equivalent) Accountability principle

Why are the principles important?

The principles lie at the heart of the GDPR. They are set out right at the start of the legislation, and inform everything that follows. They don’t give hard and fast rules, but rather embody the spirit of the general data protection regime - and as such there are very limited exceptions.

Compliance with the spirit of these key principles is therefore a fundamental building block for good data protection practice. It is also key to your compliance with the detailed provisions of the GPDR.

Failure to comply with the principles may leave you open to substantial fines. Article 83(5)(a) states that infringements of the basic principles for processing personal data are subject to the highest tier of administrative fines. This could mean a fine of up to €20 million, or 4% of your total worldwide annual turnover, whichever is higher.

Accountability and governance 

Accountability is one of the data protection principles - it makes you responsible for complying with the GDPR and says that you must be able to demonstrate your compliance.

You need to put in place appropriate technical and organisational measures to meet the requirements of accountability.

There are a number of measures that you can, and in some cases must, take including:

  • adopting and implementing data protection policies;
  • taking a ‘data protection by design and default’ approach;
  • putting written contracts in place with organisations that process personal data on your behalf;
  • maintaining documentation of your processing activities;
  • implementing appropriate security measures;
  • recording and, where necessary, reporting personal data breaches;
  • carrying out data protection impact assessments for uses of personal data that are likely to result in high risk to individuals’ interests;
  • appointing a data protection officer; and
  • adhering to relevant codes of conduct and signing up to certification schemes.

Accountability obligations are ongoing. You must review and, where necessary, update the measures you put in place.

If you implement a privacy management framework this can help you embed your accountability measures and create a culture of privacy across your organisation.

Being accountable can help you to build trust with individuals and may help you mitigate enforcement action.


☐ We take responsibility for complying with the GDPR, at the highest management level and throughout our organisation.

☐ We keep evidence of the steps we take to comply with the GDPR.

We put in place appropriate technical and organisational measures, such as:

☐ adopting and implementing data protection policies (where proportionate);

☐ taking a ‘data protection by design and default’ approach - putting appropriate data protection measures in place throughout the entire lifecycle of our processing operations;

☐ putting written contracts in place with organisations that process personal data on our behalf;

☐ maintaining documentation of our processing activities;

☐ implementing appropriate security measures;

☐ recording and, where necessary, reporting personal data breaches;

☐ carrying out data protection impact assessments for uses of personal data that are likely to result in high risk to individuals’ interests;

☐ appointing a data protection officer (where necessary); and

☐ adhering to relevant codes of conduct and signing up to certification schemes (where possible).

☐ We review and update our accountability measures at appropriate intervals.


A key principle of the GDPR is that you process personal data securely by means of ‘appropriate technical and organisational measures’ – this is the ‘security principle’.

Doing this requires you to consider things like risk analysis, organisational policies, and physical and technical measures.

You also have to take into account additional requirements about the security of your processing – and these also apply to data processors.

You can consider the state of the art and costs of implementation when deciding what measures to take – but they must be appropriate both to your circumstances and the risk your processing poses.

Where appropriate, you should look to use measures such as pseudonymisation and encryption.

Your measures must ensure the ‘confidentiality, integrity and availability’ of your systems and services and the personal data you process within them.

The measures must also enable you to restore access and availability to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident.

You also need to ensure that you have appropriate processes in place to test the effectiveness of your measures, and undertake any required improvements.


☐ We undertake an analysis of the risks presented by our processing, and use this to assess the appropriate level of security we need to put in place.

☐ When deciding what measures to implement, we take account of the state of the art and costs of implementation.

☐ We have an information security policy (or equivalent) and take steps to make sure the policy is implemented.

☐ Where necessary, we have additional policies and ensure that controls are in place to enforce them.

☐ We make sure that we regularly review our information security policies and measures and, where necessary, improve them.

☐ We have put in place basic technical controls such as those specified by established frameworks like Cyber Essentials.

☐ We understand that we may also need to put other technical measures in place depending on our circumstances and the type of personal data we process.

☐ We use encryption and/or pseudonymisation where it is appropriate to do so.

☐ We understand the requirements of confidentiality, integrity and availability for the personal data we process.

☐ We make sure that we can restore access to personal data in the event of any incidents, such as by establishing an appropriate backup process.

☐ We conduct regular testing and reviews of our measures to ensure they remain effective, and act on the results of those tests where they highlight areas for improvement.

☐ Where appropriate, we implement measures that adhere to an approved code of conduct or certification mechanism.

☐ We ensure that any data processor we use also implements appropriate technical and organisational measures.

International transfers 

The GDPR imposes restrictions on the transfer of personal data outside the European Union, to third countries or international organisations.

These restrictions are in place to ensure that the level of protection of individuals afforded by the GDPR is not undermined.

When can personal data be transferred outside the European Union?

Personal data may only be transferred outside of the EU in compliance with the conditions for transfer set out in Chapter V of the GDPR.

What about transfers on the basis of a Commission decision?

Transfers may be made where the Commission has decided that a third country, a territory or one or more specific sectors in the third country, or an international organisation ensures an adequate level of protection.

What about transfers subject to appropriate safeguards?

You may transfer personal data where the organisation receiving the personal data has provided adequate safeguards. Individuals’ rights must be enforceable and effective legal remedies for individuals must be available following the transfer.

Adequate safeguards may be provided for by:

  • a legally binding agreement between public authorities or bodies;
  • binding corporate rules (agreements governing transfers made between organisations within in a corporate group);
  • standard data protection clauses in the form of template transfer clauses adopted by the Commission;
  • standard data protection clauses in the form of template transfer clauses adopted by a supervisory authority and approved by the Commission;
  • compliance with an approved code of conduct approved by a supervisory authority;
  • certification under an approved certification mechanism as provided for in the GDPR; 
  • contractual clauses agreed authorised by the competent supervisory authority; or
  • provisions inserted into administrative arrangements between public authorities or bodies authorized by the competent supervisory authority.

What about transfers based on an organisation’s assessment of the adequacy of protection?           

The GDPR limits your ability to transfer personal data outside the EU where this is based only on your own assessment of the adequacy of the protection afforded to the personal data.

Authorisations of transfers made by Member States or supervisory authorities and decisions of the Commission regarding adequate safeguards made under the Directive will remain valid/remain in force until amended, replaced or repealed.

Are there any derogations from the prohibition on transfers of personal data outside of the EU?

The GDPR provides derogations from the general prohibition on transfers of personal data outside the EU for certain specific situations. A transfer, or set of transfers, may be made where the transfer is:

  • made with the individual’s informed consent;
  • necessary for the performance of a contract between the individual and the organisation or for pre-contractual steps taken at the individual’s request;
  • necessary for the performance of a contract made in the interests of the individual between the controller and another person;
  • necessary for important reasons of public interest;
  • necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims;
  • necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or other persons, where the data subject is physically or legally incapable of giving consent; or
  • made from a register which under UK or EU law is intended to provide information to the public (and which is open to consultation by either the public in general or those able to show a legitimate interest in inspecting the register).

The first three derogations are not available for the activities of public authorities in the exercise of their public powers.

What about one-off (or infrequent) transfers of personal data concerning only relatively few individuals?

Even where there is no Commission decision authorising transfers to the country in question, if it is not possible to demonstrate that individual’s rights are protected by adequate safeguards and none of the derogations apply, the GDPR provides that personal data may still be transferred outside the EU.

However, such transfers are permitted only where the transfer:

  • is not being made by a public authority in the exercise of its public powers;
  • is not repetitive (similar transfers are not made on a regular basis);
  • involves data related to only a limited number of individuals;
  • is necessary for the purposes of the compelling legitimate interests of the organisation (provided such interests are not overridden by the interests of the individual); and
  • is made subject to suitable safeguards put in place by the organisation (in the light of an assessment of all the circumstances surrounding the transfer) to protect the personal data.

In these cases, organisations are obliged to inform the relevant supervisory authority of the transfer and provide additional information to individuals.

Personal data breaches 

The GDPR introduces a duty on all organisations to report certain types of personal data breach to the relevant supervisory authority. You must do this within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach, where feasible.

If the breach is likely to result in a high risk of adversely affecting individuals’ rights and freedoms, you must also inform those individuals without undue delay.

You should ensure you have robust breach detection, investigation and internal reporting procedures in place. This will facilitate decision-making about whether or not you need to notify the relevant supervisory authority and the affected individuals.

You must also keep a record of any personal data breaches, regardless of whether you are required to notify.


Preparing for a personal data breach

☐ We know how to recognise a personal data breach.

☐ We understand that a personal data breach isn’t only about loss or theft of personal data.

☐ We have prepared a response plan for addressing any personal data breaches that occur.

☐ We have allocated responsibility for managing breaches to a dedicated person or team.

☐ Our staff know how to escalate a security incident to the appropriate person or team in our organisation to determine whether a breach has occurred.

Responding to a personal data breach

☐ We have in place a process to assess the likely risk to individuals as a result of a breach.

☐ We know who is the relevant supervisory authority for our processing activities.

☐ We have a process to notify the ICO of a breach within 72 hours of becoming aware of it, even if we do not have all the details yet.

☐ We know what information we must give the ICO about a breach.

☐ We have a process to inform affected individuals about a breach when it is likely to result in a high risk to their rights and freedoms.

☐ We know we must inform affected individuals without undue delay.

☐ We know what information about a breach we must provide to individuals, and that we should provide advice to help them protect themselves from its effects.

What is a personal data breach?

A personal data breach means a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data. This includes breaches that are the result of both accidental and deliberate causes. It also means that a breach is more than just about losing personal data.

☐ We document all breaches, even if they don’t all need to be reported.

A personal data breach can be broadly defined as a security incident that has affected the confidentiality, integrity or availability of personal data. In short, there will be a personal data breach whenever any personal data is lost, destroyed, corrupted or disclosed; if someone accesses the data or passes it on without proper authorisation; or if the data is made unavailable, for example, when it has been encrypted by ransomware, or accidentally lost or destroyed.

Recital 87 of the GDPR makes clear that when a security incident takes place, you should quickly establish whether a personal data breach has occurred and, if so, promptly take steps to address it, including telling the ICO if required.

In assessing risk to rights and freedoms, it’s important to focus on the potential negative consequences for individuals. Recital 85 of the GDPR explains that:

“A personal data breach may, if not addressed in an appropriate and timely manner, result in physical, material or non-material damage to natural persons such as loss of control over their personal data or limitation of their rights, discrimination, identity theft or fraud, financial loss, unauthorised reversal of pseudonymisation, damage to reputation, loss of confidentiality of personal data protected by professional secrecy or any other significant economic or social disadvantage to the natural person concerned.”

So, on becoming aware of a breach, you should try to contain it and assess the potential adverse consequences for individuals, based on how serious or substantial these are, and how likely they are to happen.

What role do processors have?

If your organisation uses a data processor, and this processor suffers a breach, then under Article 33(2) it must inform you without undue delay as soon as it becomes aware.

This requirement allows you to take steps to address the breach and meet your breach-reporting obligations under the GDPR.

If you use a processor, the requirements on breach reporting should be detailed in the contract between you and your processor, as required under Article 28. For more details about contracts, please see our draft GDPR guidance on contracts and liabilities between controllers and processors.

How much time do we have to report a breach?

You must report a notifiable breach to the ICO without undue delay, but not later than 72 hours after becoming aware of it. If you take longer than this, you must give reasons for the delay.

Section II of the Article 29 Working Party Guidelines on personal data breach notification gives more details of when a controller can be considered to have “become aware” of a breach.

What information must a breach notification to the supervisory authority contain?

When reporting a breach, the GDPR says you must provide:

  • a description of the nature of the personal data breach including, where possible:
  • the categories and approximate number of individuals concerned; and
  • the categories and approximate number of personal data records concerned;
  • the name and contact details of the data protection officer (if your organisation has one) or other contact point where more information can be obtained;
  • a description of the likely consequences of the personal data breach; and
  • a description of the measures taken, or proposed to be taken, to deal with the personal data breach, including, where appropriate, the measures taken to mitigate any possible adverse effects.

What if we don’t have all the required information available yet?

The GDPR recognises that it will not always be possible to investigate a breach fully within 72 hours to understand exactly what has happened and what needs to be done to mitigate it. So Article 34(4) allows you to provide the required information in phases, as long as this is done without undue further delay.

However, we expect controllers to prioritise the investigation, give it adequate resources, and expedite it urgently. You must still notify us of the breach when you become aware of it, and submit further information as soon as possible. If you know you won’t be able to provide full details within 72 hours, it is a good idea to explain the delay to us and tell us when you expect to submit more information.

When do we need to tell individuals about a breach?

If a breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the GDPR says you must inform those concerned directly and without undue delay. In other words, this should take place as soon as possible.

A ‘high risk’ means the threshold for informing individuals is higher than for notifying the ICO. 

Again, you will need to assess both the severity of the potential or actual impact on individuals as a result of a breach and the likelihood of this occurring. If the impact of the breach is more severe, the risk is higher; if the likelihood of the consequences is greater, then again the risk is higher. In such cases, you will need to promptly inform those affected, particularly if there is a need to mitigate an immediate risk of damage to them. One of the main reasons for informing individuals is to help them take steps to protect themselves from the effects of a breach.

What information must we provide to individuals when telling them about a breach?

You need to describe, in clear and plain language, the nature of the personal data breach and, at least:

  • the name and contact details of your data protection officer (if your organisation has one) or other contact point where more information can be obtained;
  • a description of the likely consequences of the personal data breach; and
  • a description of the measures taken, or proposed to be taken, to deal with the personal data breach and including, where appropriate, of the measures taken to mitigate any possible adverse effects.

Does the GDPR require us to take any other steps in response to a breach?

You should ensure that you record all breaches regardless of local law.           

Article 33(5) requires you to document the facts relating to the breach, its effects and the remedial action taken. This is part of your overall obligation to comply with the accountability principle, and allows us to verify your organisation’s compliance with its notification duties under the GDPR.

As with any security incident, you should investigate whether or not the breach was a result of human error or a systemic issue and see how a recurrence can be prevented – whether this is through better processes, further training or other corrective steps.

What else should we take into account?

The following aren’t specific GDPR requirements, but you may need to take them into account when you’ve experienced a breach.

It is important to be aware that you may have additional notification obligations under other laws if you experience a personal data breach. For example:

If you are a UK trust service provider, you must notify the ICO of a security breach, which may include a personal data breach, within 24 hours under the Electronic Identification and Trust Services (eIDAS) Regulation. Where this includes a personal data breach you can use our eIDAS breach notification form or the GDPR breach-reporting process. However, if you report it to us under the GDPR, this still must be done within 24 hours. Please read our Guide to eIDAS for more information.

If your organisation is an operator of essential services or a digital service provider, you will have incident-reporting obligations under the NIS Directive. These are separate from personal data breach notification under the GDPR. If you suffer an incident that’s also a personal data breach, you will still need to report it to the ICO separately, and you should use the GDPR process for doing so.

You may also need to consider notifying third parties such as the police, insurers, professional bodies, or bank or credit card companies who can help reduce the risk of financial loss to individuals.

The European Data Protection Board, which will replace the Article 29 Working Party, may issue guidelines, recommendations and best practice advice that may include further guidance on personal data breaches. You should look out for any such future guidance. Likewise, you should be aware of any recommendations issued under relevant codes of conduct or sector-specific requirements that your organisation may be subject to.

What happens if we fail to notify?

Failing to notify a breach when required to do so can result in a significant fine up to 10 million euros or 2 per cent of your global turnover. The fine can be combined the ICO’s other corrective powers under Article 58. So it’s important to make sure you have a robust breach-reporting process in place to ensure you detect and can notify a breach, on time; and to provide the necessary details.


What derogations does the GDPR permit?

Article 23 enables Member States to introduce derogations to the GDPR in certain situations.

Member States can introduce exemptions from the GDPR’s transparency obligations and individual rights, but only where the restriction respects the essence of the individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms and is a necessary and proportionate measure in a democratic society to safeguard:

  • national security;
  • defence;
  • public security;
  • the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences;
  • other important public interests, in particular economic or financial interests, including budgetary and taxation matters, public health and security;
  • the protection of judicial independence and proceedings;
  • breaches of ethics in regulated professions;
  • monitoring, inspection or regulatory functions connected to the exercise of official authority regarding security, defence, other important public interests or crime/ethics prevention;
  • the protection of the individual, or the rights and freedoms of others; or
  • the enforcement of civil law matters.

What about other Member State derogations or exemptions?

Chapter IX provides that Member States can provide exemptions, derogations, conditions or rules in relation to specific processing activities. These include processing that relates to:

  • freedom of expression and freedom of information;
  • public access to official documents;
  • national identification numbers;
  • processing of employee data;
  • processing for archiving purposes and for scientific or historical research and statistical purposes;
  • secrecy obligations; and
  • churches and religious associations.

To assist organisations in applying the requirements of the GDPR in different contexts, we are working to produce guidance in a number of areas. For example, children’s data, CCTV, big data, etc.

Best of Luck & Regards,

Jai Krishna Ponnappan


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