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GDPR tools to help businesses with compliance

02 March 2020

Two key services to help organisations show accountability under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are up and running.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published guidance for organisations wanting to develop GDPR Codes of Conduct or Certification schemes.

From 28th February, organisations can submit their proposals for GDPR Codes of Conduct or Certification scheme criteria to the ICO for approval.

These two services will be an asset to businesses; helping both data controllers and processors demonstrate compliance with the GDPR.

Ian Hulme, ICO Director of Regulatory Assurance, said: “I would encourage any organisation that can speak on behalf of a group of organisations, or who has expertise in developing standards or certification criteria, to have a look at our guidance and speak to us about developing a GDPR Code of Conduct or Certification scheme.

"Both mechanisms are a really good way for organisations to show their commitment to complying with data protection legislation and ultimately, build public trust and confidence in their organisation.”

Accountability is an important data protection principle and means organisations must be able to demonstrate their compliance with the GDPR. Codes of Conduct and Certification schemes are both described as important voluntary accountability tools.

Codes of Conduct provisions, set out in the GDPR, help organisations – such as trade, membership or professional bodies - to support compliance with data protection issues identified or specific to their sector. Organisations will be able to sign up to an ICO approved Code of Conduct to demonstrate their compliance with data protection legislation. Codes of Conduct can be submitted to the ICO for approval now.

Certification is a separate provision under the GDPR. It will give businesses a tool that they can use to enhance trust in their business and demonstrate their commitment to compliance to their customers.

Scheme criteria can now be submitted for ICO approval. Controllers and processors will then be able to apply to have their personal data processing certified under the relevant scheme.