European Union: 9 Months And Counting: 10 Things You Need To Be Doing Tomorrow To Prepare For GDPR

Last Updated: September 6 2017
Article by Saad Gul

The European Union's General Data Protection (GDPR) is now 9 months away. Any organization that processes data needs to assess its state of readiness. Here are the top ten benchmarks to enable it to take stock.

1.      Overall Principle: The principle at the heart of the GDPR regime is that a data subject always has the sacrosanct right to control of their personal data. Virtually every GDPR obligation flows from this bedrock principle.

2.      Inventory. No company can comply with its data processing obligations unless it has a full understanding of its existing data inventory. This is a time consuming exercise. In our experience, formal company data maps and filters invariably omit isolated data silos e.g. those in standalone systems such as correspondence. Data mapping is an iterative process. The earlier begun, the better positioned you will be.

3.      The Data Protection Officer. Organizations that process data on a regular basis are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer. Since the DPO is expected to wear many hats: internal privacy advocate, documentation guru, public interface, and regulatory liaison, the appointment is a linchpin of the compliance process. The unique skill-set required: equal measures of technical and privacy expertise mean that identifying and placing a suitable individual will be a time consuming exercise. Begin now.

4.      Check consent or adequate basis for data. An organization should be able to identify consent or an alternative legal basis for every instance of data processing that it undertakes. The corresponding documentation for each basis should be readily accessible in the event of an audit. Even otherwise meticulous organizations can struggle to retrieve specific documentation e.g. a particular consent form. Again, beginning now is the key.

5.      Document your processes. GDPR emphasizes Privacy by Design: the principle that data processing is built around the premise of privacy. Privacy should not be an after-thought. This principle is encapsulated in requirements such as conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment. Requirements such as the PIA require significant procedural changes throughout an enterprise. These procedures should be documented and rolled out to the entire organization. Appropriate time should be factored for training. A process that exists only on paper or is largely ignored by employees is worse than one that does not exist at all.

6.      Purge your data. In the age of cheap storage, organization are inherently reluctant to dispose of data. There are institutional incentives to retain data e.g. it may prove useful in subsequent analysis. However, the GDPR is explicit that the permissibility of data collection and retention is limited to the time and purpose for which the data was collected. Once that purpose has been satisfied, the organization no longer has a legal right to the data. Organizations need  institutionalize practices to periodically and consistently delete unneeded data. This practice also reduces exposure in the event of a breach.

7.      Revisit your notification procedures. The new regulations envision stringent post-breach procedures. Regulators must be informed within 72 hours. Data subjects may need to be informed if the data breach places them . Organizations need to ensure that their technological and procedural capabilities are adequate to the task.

8.      International data flows. The GDPR requires that international data transfers be limited to (1) the member countries of the European Union; (2) member countries of the European Economic Area; (3) countries that Brussels has deemed to offer an "adequate" level of data protection. The United States retains its adequacy determination under the Privacy Shield program. However, Privacy Shield is under legal attack however, and its future remains uncertain.

9.      Alternative international data flow measures. Data transfers to countries without an "adequacy" determination are permissible if the necessary safeguards have been instituted. These safeguards typically take the form of standard contractual clauses or binding corporate rules. The EU's past enforcement record has been harsh. Companies in full compliance with Safe Harbor were penalized when the program was struck down. In light of this, organizations should consider a "belt-and-suspenders" approach whereby such clauses and rules are incorporated in data processing agreements, even if they are located in a country with an "adequacy" determination.

10.    Dealing with the public. Members of the public, or data subjects, have a host of new rights under the GDPR. These include the right to revoke consent, the right to review/correct data, the right to portability of data, and of course, the famed "right to be forgotten." Meeting the compliance obligations generated by these rights will require both technical and procedural changes. With the clock ticking to May 25, 2018, the time to institute them is now.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Saad Gul
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Klein Moynihan Turco LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Klein Moynihan Turco LLP
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions