If your organisation falls under the description above, it is under a legal obligation to comply with GDPR. The GDPR places greater emphasis on the documentation that data controllers must keep to demonstrate their accountability. Compliance with all the key areas will require your organisation to review its approach to governance and how it manages data protection as a corporate issue. One aspect of this might be to review the contracts and other arrangements you have in place when sharing data with other organisations.
This overview highlights the GDPR’s key themes to help you understand the legal framework in the EU. It is for those who have day-to-day responsibility for data protection.
The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’. However, the GDPR’s definition is more detailed and makes it clear that information such as an online identifier – eg an IP address – can constitute personal data. The more expansive definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people.
For most organisations, keeping HR records, customer lists, or contact details etc, the change to the definition should make little practical difference. You can assume that if you hold information that falls within the scope of the DPA, it will also fall within the scope of the GDPR.
The GDPR applies to both automated personal data and to manual filing systems where personal data is accessible according to specific criteria.
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.
The GDPR refers to sensitive personal data as “special categories of personal data” (see Article 9).
For example, 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).