General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of guidelines to be followed when collecting and processing information about individuals who live in the European Union. Why would this matter to an Australian business that operates online? It would seem as if GDPR would only affect entities inside the European Union, but that is not always the case!
In this article, we will address a few commonly asked questions about the GDPR and how it may affect Australian companies doing business online with entities in the EU:
When Does GDPR Apply to a Business?
A business doesn’t have to be in Australia or be a business subject to GDPR. Regardless of whether they are a company, charity, government body, or any other entity, and as long as they interact and do business with EU residents, GDPR applies to them.
When focusing on businesses, however, GDPR divides companies into two general categories: data processors and data controllers. Data processors will be those who process personal information in support of a data collector, while a data collector will be the entity that decides how and why the data will be processed. That being said, both types of companies will still be held together with data processing principles, but only data controllers will be the ones subject to the law, rules, and regulations.
How Does GDPR Apply to Australian Businesses?
Not all businesses will have to worry about GDPR, notably those who do not conduct business with EU residents. If any business-related activities are done with said residents, however, even Australian businesses will be subject to these guidelines.
Examples of activities include collecting emails, selling goods and services, shipping products, offering products and services, having a branch, and the likes, all of which are directed at EU residents. If you find that your business falls into any of the above criteria or participates in any form of data collection and tracking of EU residents, your business will be subject to GDPR.
How Do I Ensure My Business Complies With GDPR?
Note that when you are trying to comply with GDPR, you only have to follow their guidelines, specifically when handling personal information gathered from EU residents. However, this can be quite troublesome, especially if you work with personal information from different countries outside the EU. As such, it makes much better sense to apply GDPR to all the data that you have collected. It saves time and effort, and in fact, Australia has been seen to potentially adopt GDPR-like regulations.
With all of that said, if you are doing any business-related activities in the EU, then do consider complying with GDPR rules and regulations. This way, you stay out of legal trouble with the EU, ensuring that you do not run into money-costing and time-wasting legal problems you need to address.
Even if you deal with international clients, remember to continue to comply with the Australian privacy law. You are, after all, an Australian company, and such laws will affect your business. If you find complying with both to be a big challenge, we highly recommend reaching out to compliance professionals like us to assist. We can help you stay compliant with whatever law you are subject to, allowing you to carry out business legally and trouble-free. Rabbon is cybersecurity professionals helping organizations stay safe in the digital world and minimize their cyber risks. If you need GDPR compliance services in Australia, work with us today!
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