Understand how GDPR affects mobile phone data


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In today’s highly connected world, data and information travel faster than ever. Access to a wide range of personal and professional data is also easier than a few years ago. This has led government institutions and regulators to enact privacy and data security laws, such as the GDPR, to govern how data is collected and used by different companies and organizations.



What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. This is an EU regulation regulating privacy and data protection in the European Union and the EEA (European Economic Area). The GDPR was adopted in 2016 and was enforced in 2018. It is considered to be one of the broadest and strictest privacy and data security laws in the world.

In summary, this regulation aims to give all persons in the EU and the EEA greater control over their data. In other words, the GDPR applies to any entity (regardless of location) that processes personal data belonging to covered persons / citizens. These rules also affect social media marketing, as they require companies and other data controllers to implement specific data protection requirements.

Under GDPR:

  • Users have the right to request access to their data at any time. They can also request deletion of their data.
  • Users must be informed of their rights in a simple and understandable language.
  • User data should be encrypted or tokenized to protect sensitive information in the event of a data breach. Privacy settings should also meet the highest standards by default.
  • Each data controller or company should designate a data protection officer to ensure compliance with the rules on privacy and data protection.

The impact of GDPR on mobile devices

The number of smartphone users worldwide is estimated at 6.6 billion. This means that around 83% of the world’s population owns a smartphone that connects to the Internet and can communicate and share data with others. When the GDPR came into force, companies across the EU had to adapt their IT practices, including those related to mobile devices.

Some of the GDPR requirements for mobile devices include:

  • Data confirmation – Organizations should track the conditions under which PII or personally identifiable information is collected / collected, stored and used. Organizations that collect data, that is, both structured and unstructured data, must obtain the consent of the users. Regular audits are necessary to ensure compliance with these requirements.
  • Classification and control of devices – GDPR requires dynamic control of organizational operations and mobile device visibility. Mobile devices used to access the corporate network must comply with security policies, regardless of ownership.
  • Mobile security – GDPR recommends a layered approach to mobile device security that ensures privacy and data security for the device, operating system, users and applications. This protects against threats, while ensuring that the right people have access to the right data.
  • Separation of business and personal data – mobile devices connected to the organization’s network contain professional and personal data. Under the GDPR, online IDs such as IP addresses, personal email accounts and private social media data from your phone are considered PII and should not be accessed by the controller of the mobile device. ‘An organization.

Maintaining GDPR compliance is an ongoing process that should be implemented in the overall business strategy. Here’s how to manage your mobile devices to ensure compliance:

  • Track and locate your mobile devices.
  • Encrypt data to improve anonymity and confidentiality.
  • Lock down mobile devices, including those located in remote locations.
  • Removed data from lost or stolen devices to minimize risk exposure.

In addition to the tips above, always perform regular GDPR audits to avoid fines, lawsuits, and penalties. When choosing a business partner, such as a cloud service provider or other outsourced service providers, make sure they comply with the GDPR. This minimizes third-party risks that can cost your business dearly.

The essentials

It may seem impossible to manage mobile devices in the internet age and under strict global rules, but it does not have to be. All companies that process user data are responsible for complying with the essential provisions of the GDPR and ensuring compliance at all times.

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