GDPR Compliance Guidelines for Web and App Development

Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) focuses on EU members, all websites and apps accessed by them have to follow the same rules as of May 2018. Web and program developers who do business internationally face extensive fines and penalties if they are not currently following the guidelines outlined below. Those that are must stay up-to-date with any changes or risk similar problems.

While this seems quite serious, the GDPR compliance guidelines do not demand much from site owners and app creators. Since you undoubtedly want to protect visitor and user data and identity just as much as they do, fulfilling the requirements makes sense for multiple reasons.

Why the GDPR Exists and What It Does For Consumers

The Parliament in Europe created the GDPR in 2016 as a way to protect consumer information using consistent guidelines throughout the EU. Prior to its effective date two years later, companies could choose their own methods of security. Some chose none at all, which was part of the problem. Now, the country of origin matters little. If you do business with EU customers, you must comply with GDPR regulation.

This security law provides security protection and control for individuals. Now, the consumers themselves decide what is done with their information and whether app or site developers and business entities can collect it at all.

  • People have the right to refuse personal data collection
  • App and site users must have access to their own information
  • Only necessary and relevant data is collected
  • Data should only exist for a limited time of use or processing
  • Individuals may request and receive data deletion at any time
  • All security breaches must be disclosed immediately

Other requirements exist in the GDPR documentation. They include requiring some companies to hire data protection officers, details about transmitting data across EU borders, and general security measures. While all of these criteria should have been in place for a year or more by now, keeping up to date with compliance matters just as much as implementing it at the start. Ensure that everyone at your company understands the importance of GDPR compliance.

6 Steps to GDPR Legal Compliance

Developers have multiple options when it comes to implementing GDPR regulations and protecting users from security issues. Please note that these regulations apply to all international companies, sites, and apps. You still have to follow these steps if you operate outside the European Union. Whatever methods you use, the steps to creating a compliant app or website remain the same.

1 – Every User Must Give Informed Consent to Data Collection

Definitive consent requires the app user to check a box, select an answer, or type certain words before clicking on an “Accept” button. This guideline attempts to ensure they understand what they are consenting to beforehand. This part of the regulation primarily affects mobile access and signups to account-based systems. Data may be given freely through a form or gathered remotely.

2 – Offer Quick and Unlimited Data Access to Users

Privacy policies should give clear information about what data is collected, how it is used, and how the individual can gain access to their own. You must inform them why you gather information, how it is used, and who you share it with. Always stay informed about whether particular data types can be shared with third parties. Some, such as legal or medical information, may fall under other laws and regulations.

3 – Keep Current With All GDPR Regulations

Data protection officers, GDPR-knowledgeable employees, or outside service providers like Spider Teams stay in the know about necessary regulations. This allows you to stay current, legal, and avoid penalties. At this point, you are a year out of date if you have not yet complied with the rules. Avoid penalties up to 4% of total company value by catching up quickly.

4 – Allow for Data Portability for Specific Users

Not only can users gain access to their own data and learn what you do with it, but they can also request that you use it in different ways and share it with other apps, companies, or individuals. Of course, the transmission of any data requires full security measures in place.

5 – Provide Methods to Stop Data Use or Delete It Completely

Terms and policies clearly displayed for your site or app must include instructions on how to delete all their user data if desired. Also, they have the right to stop you from sharing information with third-parties at any time. They do not have to lodge a complaint or give a specific reason. According to the GDPR, their basic objection to its use is enough.

6 – Use the Best Quality Security Systems to Protect All Data

All web and app developers should provide the utmost in security even without the risk of GDPR fines and penalties. It also requires periodic Data Protection Impact Assessments to maintain appropriate levels of safety, identify any potential risks, and close loopholes or destroy vulnerabilities in the program. These responsibilities exist even without the EU’s official rules. If your users’ data falls into the wrong hands, it could mean company failure.

If you currently fail to provide any of these individual rights when it comes to data consent, usage, or handling, consider scheduling a security audit as soon as possible. Update terms of service, privacy policies, and data collection compliance forms. Create or adopt systems to turn to if a user asks for their data, information sharing, or removes consent to use it at any time. Improve security to stop data breaches before they start, but always have a method for minimizing damage after the fact just in case.

As the deadline for GDPR compliance has passed a year ago, this list serves as a tool to remind you to fulfill all compliance requirements and keep them up-to-date. If you have not taken steps yet to secure data and give users control over their own consent and information usage, do not wait a moment longer. Spider Teams provides comprehensive coverage for all potential GDPR compliance problems. Contact us today to avoid potential fines and lost business.