Procrastination

GDPR: Advice for Every Small Business

According to every statistic I’ve read, there is still a huge chunk of business owners who have not even read the GDPR yet, let alone done anything about it. To be clear; no matter the size of your business, you have to comply.

For example, Core Concept Security Ltd. (my company) is very small, but even I have to pay a ‘Data Protection Fee’ and sort out my contracts and privacy notices. What I DON’T have to do is:

  1. Designate a data protection officer (DPO) – Article 37, because I meet none of the criteria in 37(1)(a-c); or
  2. Produce a ‘record of processing’ – Article 30 because my company is under 250 employees and I do not meet any of the 30(5) criteria.

I know all of this because I HAVE read the GDPR, I HAVE sorted out my contracts and privacy notices, and I HAVE paid my data protection fee. There is no excuse I have heard to date for EVERY other small business not to do the same.

Follow these steps, and you’ll have done the most important thing imaginable; something: Continue reading

GDPR Fines

Does ISO 27001 Certification Give You Immunity From GDPR Fines?

I was actually chuckling to myself as I wrote that title because I know you were thinking [the equivalent of] one of the following as you clicked on the link:
  • If you have not read the GDPR: “That would be awesome!”
  • If you have read the GDPR: “Don’t be so bloody stupid.”
No, of course ISO 27001 certification won’t give you immunity from GDPR fines, even those related to data security breaches, which is the only thing 27001 actually covers. Data security (as opposed to data processing) is a single Article out of 99, and the fines related to data loss aren’t even the big ones (2%, not 4%). That said, I believe there is a much greater chance of you being fined for lack of security than for any illegalities in your personal data processing. It’s a matter of exposure. Continue reading
Right to Erasure

GDPR: The Right to Erasure Does Not Always Mean Forgotten

The title should actually be more in question form; Did you know that there’s even a difference between being erased and being forgotten? Article 17 of the GDPR is “Right to erasure (‘right to be forgotten’)“, which suggests they are the same thing. They are not [quite], and I think the only reason the right to be forgotten was added in brackets is because everyone was already calling it that. But it’s just not accurate …enough. The right to be forgotten is intended to allow an individual to “determine the development of their life in an autonomous way, without being perpetually or periodically stigmatized as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past.” For example; you may have been guilty of a minor criminal offence 30 years ago, which in the UK would likely make that offence “spent” (i.e. it should not be considered in any decisions against you related to insurance, employment, loans and so forth). However, if this criminal record has been posted online then duplicated in numerous forms all over the place, it will never go away. In other words, you’ve paid your ‘debt to society’ but it will haunt you for the rest of your days. Continue reading
Lawful Basis for Processing

GDPR: Getting to the Lawful Basis for Processing

I have made no secret of my distain for organisations and individuals who consider themselves qualified to determine their client’s lawful basis for processing without having the necessary education or experience to do so. Just reading the GDPR a few times and doing some homework (like me), or taking the “Certified” GDPR Practitioner course (or equivalent), does NOT qualify you to talk legal matters with anyone. Don’t try. On the other hand, a privacy lawyer (or equivalent subject matter expert) is just as likely to be spectacularly unqualified to get the information required to make the legal determinations in the first place. It is even more unlikely that they can manage the project from start to finish. Even if they could, there’s no way they’d be available, or affordable. So what you end up with is either someone(s) who can only get you most of the way, or someone(s) only able to take you over the finish line. Continue reading
DPO

Should a CSO/CISO Ever Be a DPO?

I finally figured out why this blog was so damned difficult [for me] to write; I’ve been thinking all wrong about what exactly a DPO actually is. Which is odd, because I had the exact same challenge when writing about CSO/CISOs, and I really should have learned from my mistake.

When you think about a CISO (assume this also means CSO), or a DPO, you instantly picture a person. Maybe your organisation already has one so their face springs to mind, or if not, you have a indistinct and faceless image of someone in a suit. The fact is, neither the CISO nor the DPO are people, they are functions. Multiple functions in fact.

And not only that, they involve multiple disciplines, skill-sets, even personal preferences. Most importantly, neither the CISO nor the DPO functions [performed correctly] are ever a single person. A DPO would, quite literally, have to be an expert in privacy law (both EU and national), contracts, risk management, policy development, distribution and audit, and understand all personal data flows throughout the business.

You therefore need to break the function down before you can move forward. For example; I broke the CISO function down into 3 distinct skill-sets/phases: Continue reading