With so many news articles focusing on obstacles, it’s easy to miss the benefits the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) presents for businesses. The privacy regulation, designed to protect EU residents, will also benefit businesses looking to streamline processes, improve security and build trust with consumers.
Here are four ways HR teams can capitalize on the GDPR:
1. Be an industry leader: Make a great first impression by tracking only necessary new hire data.
Retain candidates by sharing your sophisticated employee data practices. Colleagues, especially those who have had their data compromised in the past, will appreciate your company’s renewed commitment to protecting privacy. This is especially true for businesses with offices outside the EU, where the individual privacy standards may not be as strong.
2. Standardize processes: Use the May 25, 2018 deadline as an excuse to improve inefficient employee data processes.
Companies have been struggling to follow inconsistent data protection requirements in the EU. With differing laws in member nations, managing data internationally can be a legal minefield. The GDPR simplifies requirements, allowing companies to standardize processes. Over time, this means easier record-keeping and a reduced burden on businesses operating in the EU.
3. Improve security and increase transparency: One focus of the regulation is limiting who can access personally identifiable information (PII). This addresses one of the most common security risks: human error.
Thinking about who should have access to data and restricting admin privileges will create a more secure environment. In addition, giving individuals more control over their data can reduce requests to internal support teams.
The GDPR also includes rules for subcontractors who have access to PII (called “sub-processors”). These rules place more limitations on third parties and prevents them from using PII outside of employer’s instructions. In the event of a breach, sub-processors will have to notify businesses without undue delay, increasing transparency and helping employers to be more proactive.
4. Sell your savvy: In a world with more frequent data breaches, taking individual data protection standards seriously is an important selling point. Communicating GDPR compliance will show customers and investors that your company is an industry leader.
The GDPR, and the potential penalties associated with non-compliance, has created an opportunity for proactive businesses to stand out. Use this as an opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
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It seems like every week there is a news blast on how data has been misunderstood, misused or abused. From Cambridge Analytica’s purposeful abuse of personal data to Strava’s unintentional reveal of military bases, 2018 has brought the consequences of personal data collection to the forefront. That said, it’s important not to forget that with proper use, personal data can have a huge, positive impact on your HR practices. Employers have used personal data to make better hiring decisions, help employees get healthy and address biases in the workplace.
Robin is the HR Compliance Assist Manager at PeopleDoc. She joined the team to help customers remain in compliance globally and easily navigate foreign rules and regulations through HR Compliance Assist.
Previously, Robin managed client HR communications and provided outsourced HR support. She has a Masters in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University.