GDPR Compliance in Africa

GDPR Compliance in Africa

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is a legal framework collection and processing of personal information of individuals in the European Union. GDPR Compliance came into effect on the 25th of May 2018. However, GDPR extends beyond the EU. Any business that provides a service that is accessible to people currently residing in the European Union must be GDPR compliant. Thus, regardless of whether or not a business has a presence in the European Union, it must be GDPR compliant if it has customers/clients who reside there. The safest bet is therefore to ensure your business is GDPR compliant, even if you do not think you have European clients.

How to become GDPR compliant:

In order to be GDPR compliant, business must set up a detailed privacy policy that is easily accessibly on their websites. This privacy policy must stipulate how and why the company collects and uses personal data of the customers/clients. Any business that send out marketing communication (eg. Via email), need the consent of the people they are communicating with. By this, there needs to be an agreement between the business and the customer that the customer allows the business to send them communication. This comes in the form of an opt-in, opt-out agreement. Importantly, GDPR compliance takes a long time. Therefore, ensure you set aside enough time to fully met its demands. Other key elements of GDPR compliance include data portability (right to transfer or move personal data); proof of compliance; privacy from start to finish; mandatory breach reporting; a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for companies processing large amounts of data or highly sensitive information.

Consequences for not being GDPR compliant:

The consequences for not being GDPR compliant can be quite severe. The longer a business puts off becoming GDPR compliant, the higher the risk of being sanctioned by a Data Protection Authority (DPA) in an EU country. You could then be liable for a hefty fine. This fine could be equivalent of 4% of your business’s annual turnover or €20 million (whichever is greater). [Source: ,iol] This could furthermore damage company’s reputation and their ability to do business in the EU. At the end of the day, it is thus in every businesses interest to be GDPR compliant.

What are your opinions of GDPR compliance? Let us know in the comments below!

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