The Impact of GDPR on Your Business in Australia

Data breaches and data usage are some of the hottest topics for the business and legal community. Morally dubious actions like deep consumer data mining have prompted legal authorities to re-examine how businesses use customer data.

Enter, the GDPR. There is a lot of information to read regarding GDPR, and most of it requires a legal expert to translate it.

Quite simply, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is the new data protection law developed by the European Union and came into effect on 25th May 2018. Now over a year since it was implemented, it has changed how big businesses use customer data —and does so very strictly. There are grave financial penalties for going against any of the GDPR’s stipulations. The regulation has slowly begun to be adopted across the world.

It is already being used in a limited way in Australia. You should start the process of changing your data procedures to bring them in line with GDPR. GDPR will have a big impact on Australian businesses once it is fully implemented. So far, it holds the most implications for Australian businesses that deal with EU customers and territories.

Here’s what you need to know about the GDPR and how it can affect businesses in Australia:

1.   Financial Penalties

One big impact on Australian businesses that GDPR promises are higher fines. It lays out very stringent and tough penalties for any acts which go against its regulations.

These actions don’t have to be intentional or malicious in intent. Many businesses thus face severe penalties if they fail to adapt according to the GDPR.

2.   Data Organisation

Your business will need to stop using old and outdated methods of data collection. The GDPR necessitates that data is extensively mapped. Data filing and collection methodology should be as detailed and rigorous as possible. This is necessary to control leaks or lapses.

You will have to spend time and money into building your business’s data collection system.

3.   Data Security

With events like the Sony Pictures Hack or the Amazon Leak, data breaches are common in the industry. This often meant that businesses had insecure infrastructure which was open to breaches.

You can no longer afford such lapses in security because the GDPR will penalize you heavily for them. Any data breaches can now bring the full wrath of the GDPR on you and leave you open to public lawsuits. Your business will have to expend resources to upgrade your security mechanisms. Hacking methods become sophisticated every day so constant upgrades will be needed.

4.   Data Handling Procedures

Previously, businesses could easily gain access to customer data with simple agreements. Customers had little choice in the matter of awareness about how their data would be used. This data became the business’s property.

That is no longer the case with the GDPR. It has changed the interaction of businesses and customer data. Customers can opt and ask for their data to be deleted at any time. Businesses can no longer use data indefinitely. You will thus need to come up with procedures to handle such requests. Your Australian Business will also need to devise measures of how to deal with European data. The GDPR is fully implemented in the EU so more precautions will be needed for European customer data.

Conclusion

The above is only a small glimpse of how GDPR will impact Australian businesses. The fuller consequences and implications will only be properly understood with time. You should start work on making your business as GDPR ready as possible. You never know when it might be fully implemented in Australia.

Please note this post is not offering professional legal advice, but for informational purposes only. If you have specific questions about your organisation and policies, we suggest you get legal advice.

For more information regarding the GDPR in Australia: Australian entities and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)