As you would expect, there are some very strict rules and regulations that need to be observed when it comes to processing personal data.
Whether you decide to organize and streamline your information using one centralized platform such as a data warehouse, or hold sensitive data on a local server, the rules remain the same, you have to treat what you hold on your servers with the right amount of care and respect.
Data protection rules are based on seven very clear principles. Here is an overview of what you need to know if you want to stay on the right side of the law at all times when storing and processing personal data.
You need to act fairly, lawfully, and with transparency
The first principle focuses strongly on the need for transparency at all times. This means you always have to be crystal clear about why you are collecting personal data and what you will be using it for.
From collecting the data to storing and processing it, this has to be done with transparency.
You need a legitimate purpose
It is also clear that the law requires you to have a specific and legitimate reason for wanting to collect the data in the first place.
Part of this commitment involves making sure that all of your customers are made aware that you are collecting data and the purpose for doing so.
You have to have their consent to collect and store data. If this is denied or withdrawn you have to remove the data immediately.
Only store the minimum amount of data required
Another aspect of the legislation that is often misunderstood is the need to only collate and store information that is considered to be relevant and necessary.
Your aim should be to only store the minimum amount of data required. Data minimization is often an area where the data protection rules can be inadvertently breached.
Accuracy is essential
As well as storing data you also have a duty of care to ensure that is accurate.
Always aim to perform regular reviews in order to verify that what you are storing is accurate.
Deleting unwanted data
Data needs to be destroyed as quickly as possible once it is no longer relevant or needed.
It is a requirement of data protection legislation that you set a fair retention period for all of your stored data.
Security has to be a top priority
Another key aspect of the legislation is the need to maintain a high level of integrity and confidentiality regarding all the data you hold. This includes keeping your data safe from external threats and reviewing security measures regularly. In the healthcare industry, it is especially important to use HIPAA Compliant forms to collect patient information to ensure data protection.
That means keeping your data safe from external threats and reviewing security measures on a regular basis.
Responsibility and accountability
The last principle is an overriding one that covers all other aspects of the legislation. Ultimately, your organization needs to take full responsibility for the integrity and processing of all the data you hold.
Compliance at all times is not just highly desirable, it is a legal requirement.
To achieve this aim and stay on the right side of the law with your data storage actions you have to take full accountability every step of the way.
Based on these data protection principles, are you confident that how you process personal data meets current legislation?