How US Companies Are Becoming GDPR Compliant

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was enforced in European Union to protect the data of EU residents. This law states that not only the organizations that are based in EU but also those that are based outside EU have to comply with GDPR if they have access or process the data of EU residents.  

Illustration of “compliant document” with words “Are you GDPR compliant?”

If an organization fails to comply with GDPR then they have to pay heavy fines which can reach 4% of global revenue or €20 million, depending on the severity and circumstances of the violation.

Why US companies must comply with the GDPR?

Since the law clearly states that any organization or company that process the data of any person in the EU, including citizens, residents, and even, perhaps, visitors have to comply with GDPR, it is necessary for US companies to comply with the GDPR if they process the data of EU residents. The purpose of this law is to protect the personal data of EU citizens. The data could be in the form of email addresses in a marketing list or the IP addresses of those who visit your website. To ease the probability of any fine or GDPR violation, it is necessary for U.S companies to comply with GDPR.

This GDPR compliance checklist covers tips specifically for US companies.

  • Conduct an information audit for EU personal data

Check if your company needs to comply with the GDPR. Audit whatpersonal data you process and whether any of it belongs to people in the EU.  Please read article 23 of GDPR to clarify whether your activities qualify as subject to the GDPR or not.

  • Inform your customers why you’re processing their data

The GDPR gives individuals the right to know that you are collecting their personal data, and how you will use it, how long you will keep it, and with whom you will share it.

  • Know what to do if there is a data breach

GDPR article 33 and 34 has mentioned the guidelines that need to be followed in the event if personal data is exposed. The use of strong encryption can alleviate your exposure to penalties and decrease your notification obligations if there’s a data breach.

  • Designate a representative in the European Union

According to the article 27 of GDPR, non EU organizations are required to appoint a representative based in one of the EU member states.

  • Comply with cross-border transfer laws (if applicable)

According to previous European Union specification on the transfer of personal data to non-EU countries, GDPR Article 45 put some tough requirements for companies wishing to do so.