Next named exclusive Trail Blazer in NEW 2024 Radicati DLP Market Quadrant Report Read the Report
Updated: Oct 29, 2023   |   Chris Denbigh-White

Expert summary of the GDPR requirements

Go back

The European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is considered to be the world’s strongest data privacy law. The regulation is designed to protect the privacy and security of EU citizens’ personal data. This post will provide a summary of the GDPR requirements with which businesses must comply when processing the personal information of individuals living within EU member states.

In this article:

With European privacy regulators increasingly scrutinizing the technical and operational measures companies implement to protect personal data, it’s more crucial than ever for companies to bolster their compliance efforts. To learn more about GDPR and the principles behind it, check out the video below:


Who needs to comply with GDPR?

Any company that collects and processes data on EU citizens needs to comply with the GDPR. Though the protections defined in the GDPR only apply to EU citizens, all organizations that interact with EU citizens are required to be in compliance with the regulation.

Failure to maintain compliance can result in substantial financial penalties, such as the recent $1.3 billion fine levied against Meta.


Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

What is required for GDPR compliance?

The following key requirements must be met to achieve and maintain GDPR compliance. Failure to meet any of these requirements can result in a violation and potential penalties from an EU Data Protection Authority (DPA).

Data must be collected and processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently

This means that organizations can only process personal data with a lawful justification and that the data subject must be aware of how their information is being processed. Companies should use easily accessible privacy notices to provide transparency to data subjects.

Personal data can only be collected for a specific purpose

Once the data is stored, it cannot be used for another reason without obtaining additional consent from data subjects. After collected data has served its stated purpose, it should be deleted by controllers and processors.

The rights of data subjects must be protected

Under GDPR, data subjects have rights that must be respected by data controllers and processors. These rights are granted to data subjects by GDPR:

  • The right to be informed regarding the data that is being collected, how it will be used, if it will be shared with other organizations, and how long it will be stored
  • The right of access to their personal data by submitting a data subject access request to a data controller
  • The right to rectification of data that a subject finds to be inaccurate or incomplete
  • The right to erasure under certain circumstances
  • The right to restrict how an organization processes a subject’s personal data
  • The right to data portability so individuals can use collected data across multiple services
  • The right to object to the purpose for which their personal data is being used
  • Rights regarding the use of data for profiling or other automated decision-making procedures

Data subjects’ consent

When consent is required for processing personal data, companies must obtain it following specific guidelines. Individuals must deliberately opt into data collection to comply with GDPR standards.


Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

Personal data breaches must be avoided

This requirement speaks to the main focus of GDPR, which is to protect the privacy and security of personal data.

Personal data breaches are defined in Article 4 of the GDPR as a “breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.”

Disasters or outages that make personal data unavailable are also considered data breaches under GDPR.

Privacy by design

Companies must incorporate privacy by design into data collecting and processing procedures. Fulfilling this requirement mandates that organizations implement technical and administrative controls and safeguards to enforce GDPR principles and protect the rights of data subjects.

Data protection impact assessments

A Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) is required when the processing may expose personal data to high risks, including profiling and large-scale monitoring of subjects in public places.

Data transfers

Rules are in place that limit data transfers. The standards vary depending on where and how the data is being moved. The recent fine against Meta was due to a violation in the way data was transferred from the EU to the U.S. for processing.

Naming a data protection officer

Companies subject to GDPR requirements should name a data protection officer (DPO). The DPO’s responsibilities include advising the organization on how to implement data protection policies and serving as the contact point for individuals on data privacy issues

Providing employee training

Security awareness training is required for everyone involved in handling personal data. The training should include the preventative measures that can be taken to protect the valuable personal data being processed.


Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom via Pexels

How Next promotes GDPR compliance

The Reveal platform by Next enables organizations to take a proactive approach to compliance audits by enforcing data handling policies to protect personal data and avoid data breaches. Reveal automatically performs functions such as encrypting sensitive data before allowing it to be transmitted and restricting unauthorized access.

In this way, the platform protects an organization from deliberate or accidental insider-initiated data breaches.

Reveal also supplements user awareness training by informing employees when the data handling policy has been violated. Lastly, the tool categorizes data as it enters the environment so personal data can be given the appropriate level of protection.

Want to discover how your data loss prevention policy checks out? Use our DLP Policy Testing Tool to assess the performance of your data loss prevention solution and ensure the accuracy of its policies.

Contact Next and schedule a demo to learn how Reveal can help you protect your valuable data and comply with GDPR.

Frequently asked questions

What is an EU data protection authority (DPA)?

A DPA is an independent public authority that supervises the application of the GDPR standards. The DPA provides expert advice on data protection issues. A DPA also investigates and employs corrective actions to enforce data privacy protections. Each EU Member State has a DPA that enforces GDPR compliance issues that affect its citizens.

What are some legitimate ways a data subject can provide consent to data collection?

Data subjects must deliberately opt in when consent is required by GDPR. The ways a data subject can provide lawful consent include:

  • Signing a consent statement on a paper form
  • Clicking an opt-in button or link online
  • Selecting from a yes/no option
  • Answering yes to a clear oral consent request
  • Choosing technical settings that demonstrate consent
How often should GDPR training be conducted?

GDPR training should be part of the onboarding process for all new hires who will process or be exposed to protected personal data. Companies should implement a program of ongoing refresher training regularly. The importance of GDPR compliance warrants employees to certify training at least annually.


See how Next protects your employees and prevents data loss