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How to Comply with GDPR in the United States?

GDPR is something all businesses should be considering. Although the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation covers individuals within the EU, it’s something that US-based companies need to be aware of. If your company is found to be in breach of GDPR, your company could face a fine of between $10 million and $20 million – or alternatively, up to 4% of your company’s annual revenue.

A breach in GDPR can also have a negative impact on your brand’s reputation, which could lead to a loss in clients and customers. But why does GDPR affect companies based in the United States? And how do you comply with GDPR in the USA? That’s what we’ll be exploring in the blog post.

What Exactly is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and is a thorough privacy and security law. It’s designed to give citizens of the EU more control over their personal data, and how organizations collect, use and share their data.

The law replaces the Data Protection Directive (1995). Drafted in April 2016, this change was needed due to the use of smartphones, tablets, and the ever-growing rise in the use of technology. The law directly impacts EU member states and reflects the way data is collected today.

Personal data in terms of GDPR is much broader in comparison to US compliance laws – in the US, personal data is often only protected when used to commit fraud. The GDPR protects information that connects to a person’s cultural, mental, economic, social, physical, genetic, and physiological identity. This can include cookie data, IP addresses and much more.

Why Does GDPR Affect US Businesses?

The GDPR refers to data subjects in the Union – which means that it does not impact citizens of the EU that reside in the US. However, it can apply to US citizens.

Because the GDPR safeguards the data of those living in the EU, if a US citizen moves to an EU country and currently resides there, they will be protected under the GDPR.

If a US-based business has online traffic from EU users, it will need to consider GDPR. It is a general data privacy regulation that applies to all organizations that store (or process) the data of those in the EU. Many US companies are subject to GDPR.

US businesses are impacted by GDPR if they process the data of EU residents on a regular basis, or if the rights of the data subjects are at risk. Likewise, if US businesses also process information placed in certain categories (e.g. racial, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, health status etc), they may be held liable.

How To Ensure You Are GDPR Compliant In The United States

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First of all, make the most of the GDPR compliance tools available to you. Opt for a CMP – a consent management platform. This can help to ensure you are compliant with the relevant regulations. Cassie is a quality CMP that works around you. You can be in charge and make the right choices, and Cassie will implement them for you.

First of all, take an inventory – learn all of your data sources and analyze and audit the personal data saved and used. It’s necessary to build an inventory if you wish to assess your risk of a data breach and to ensure you are GDPR compliant.

You’ll also need to review the data sources and determine the personal data contained in each. This can not be done manually, and you’ll need to use the tools available to you. Then, implement policies and procedures regarding how you handle data. You should have privacy standards clearly established across your business.

Ensure you have a solid data security strategy – how are you safeguarding data? There are three methods you can use – anonymization, encryption or pseudonymization. Finally, submit reports that demonstrate to GDPR regulators that are GDPR compliant.

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