GDPR certification refers to becoming legally compliant with the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This is a feature of GDPR law that allows people or entities to receive certification from approved certification bodies to show both the EU and consumers that they are in compliance with GDPR.
Certification is scalable and can be different for organizations of differing size and type.
GDPR itself is a regulation designed to give greater data protection to organizations operating in the EU and handling the data of EU citizens.
GDPR applies directly to each EU member country and will allow for greater data protection harmony in the EU. GDPR also means greater data protection for customers, employees, and other individuals in the EU. Those not in compliance with GDPR will face stiff fines and other penalties and damage to their reputation.
Certification is a way of demonstrating that your processing of personal data complies with the GDPR requirements, in line with the accountability principle.
Certification can help demonstrate data protection in a practical way to businesses, individuals and regulators.
Your customers can use certification as a means to quickly assess the level of data protection of your product or service, which provides transparency both for data subjects and in business to business relationships.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) sets out some main principles of GDPR Certification:
- Certification schemes will be a way to demonstrate your compliance with the GDPR and enhance transparency.
- Certification schemes should reflect the needs of small and medium sized enterprises.
- Certification scheme criteria will be approved by the ICO and delivered by accredited certification bodies.
- Certification will be issued to data controllers and data processors in relation to specific processing activities.
- Signing up to a certification scheme is voluntary. However, if there is an approved certification scheme that covers your processing activity, you may wish to consider working towards it as it can help you demonstrate compliance to the regulator, the public and in your business to business relationships.
According to Article 42 of the regulations, GDPR certifications can be obtained from accredited certification bodies, a “competent supervisory authority,” or, in time, by the GDPR Board, which may fashion a “common certification.
The ICO says that applying for certification is voluntary. However, if there is an approved certification scheme that covers your processing activity, you may wish to consider working towards it as a way of demonstrating that you comply with the GDPR.
Certification provides a framework for you to follow, thereby helping ensure compliance and offering assurance that specific standards are being adhered to, for example in a processor to controller relationship.
Here at iCaaS, we are working towards offering our customers our very own GDPR certification in the near future.