What are the Basics of GDPR Compliance?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data privacy regulation implemented by the European Union in 2018. Its main goal is to protect personal data and privacy rights of individuals within the EU, but it also affects companies outside of the EU that process personal data of EU citizens.

In order to comply with GDPR, organizations need to understand the basic principles and requirements outlined in this regulation. In this document, we will discuss some of the fundamental concepts of GDPR compliance.

Personal Data

GDPR defines personal data as any information relating to an identified or identifiable individual. This includes a wide range of data such as name, address, email address, IP address, financial information, health records, and more. It also covers both automated data and manual filing systems.

Lawful Basis for Processing

Under GDPR, organizations must have a lawful basis for processing personal data. This means they need to have a valid reason for collecting, storing, and using personal data. There are six lawful bases outlined in the regulation:

  • Consent
  • Contract
  • Legal obligation
  • Vital interests
  • Public task
  • Legitimate interests.

Organizations must determine which lawful basis applies to their specific data processing activities and ensure they are complying with the relevant principles and requirements.

Data Subject Rights

GDPR grants individuals certain rights regarding their personal data. These include the right to access, rectify, erase, restrict processing, data portability, and object to processing. Organizations must be prepared to fulfill these requests from data subjects in a timely manner.

Data Protection Officer

Under GDPR, some organizations are required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO). This person is responsible for overseeing GDPR compliance within the organization and acting as a point of contact for supervisory authorities and data subjects.

Data Breach Notification

GDPR mandates that organizations must notify the appropriate supervisory authority within 72 hours of a data breach. They must also inform affected individuals if the breach poses a high risk to their rights and freedoms.

Data Protection Impact Assessments

Organizations are required to conduct Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) when processing personal data that may result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. This helps them identify and mitigate potential risks to data subjects.

Data Transfers

GDPR prohibits the transfer of personal data outside of the EU unless certain safeguards are in place, such as Standard Contractual Clauses or Adequacy Decisions from the European Commission.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with GDPR can result in severe penalties, including fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the organization’s global annual turnover, whichever is higher.


In summary, GDPR compliance requires organizations to understand and adhere to its principles and requirements related to personal data. By following these basics of GDPR compliance, organizations can protect individuals’ rights and ensure they are fulfilling their obligations under this important regulation. So, it is crucial for companies to understand and implement the necessary measures to comply with GDPR in order to operate legally and ethically in the current digital landscape. Remember, data privacy is not only a legal obligation but also a moral responsibility towards individuals whose personal information we handle.