GDPR Data Regulations & Commercial Fines

The goals of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are simple: a law to ensure data protection and privacy for all individual citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area. However, the maximum fine under the GDPR is up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater, for organisations that infringe its requirements.
 
But, not all GDPR infringements lead to data protection fines. Supervisory authorities such as the UK’s ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) can take a range of other actions, including:
 
  • Issuing warnings and reprimands;
  • Imposing a temporary or permanent ban on data processing;
  • Ordering the rectification, restriction or erasure of data; and
  • Suspending data transfers to third countries.
UK Government Fines
There have been a few large fines made by the UK Government against organisations who have misused personal data and recently some in the government has said that more fines will take place against commercial operations that operate in the UK, but break GDPR rules and these fines will be issued in the new year.  
 
One of the most important aspects of GDPR is the ability for citizens to see what data is held on them by an organisation and how it is being used. 
 
However, in the rush to comply with the data retention, security and usage requirement of GDPR, the process for enabling consumers the right to access their data is still somewhat ad-hoc for many organisations. One of the most challenging issues is how does an organisation determine that a request from an EU citizen to see retained data, is truly from the person making the request? 
 
GDPR is vague on how an organisation should verify that they are the legitimate person and different processes are starting to evolve that could cause some serious GDPR issues. For example, requesting copies of physical documents such as passports or driving licenses, which would need to be verified (and potentially held for audit), are a potential goldmine for criminals engaged in identity theft. If badly handled, this could lead to a GDPR compliance breach.
 
Digital to Paper
The public and private sector are both impacted, although government agencies have more leeway across GDPR in general due to requirements to retain and use data to deliver services to citizens. In terms of what best practice should be in dealing with a request, the advice from the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is that there should be a policy for recording all “subject access requests” and that based on Recital 59 of the GDPR, organisations “provide means for requests to be made electronically, especially where personal data are processed by electronic means.”
 
This process will start with an access request form but when it comes to identity, the guidance is unclear. A number of organisations are asking for a similar set of documents that most banks require to open an account which includes a “proof of identity” such as a passport, photo driving license or birth certificate along with a “proof of address” such as a utility bill, bank statement or credit card statement.
 
This requirement to verify from copies or scans of electronic documents is a major weakness in this process. With a modicum of Photoshop skill, faking a photocopy of a passport and utility bill is an easy task and as such, some organisations are instead requiring stronger validation methods. 
 
Best and Worst
The UK banks have possibly the best method of validating identity through the e-banking processes. Although banks must accept subject access requests by letter, many are prompting account holders to make the request through online banking platforms. This has many advantages as the platforms are linked to an account which was opened using validated identification and access and is further strengthened by Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
 
This concept of using an online identity to act as an arbitrator for GDPR compliance is gaining favor. This process, especially when it is tied to a credit or debit card which tied to a physical account holder and address, provides responders to a GDPR request with at least, a verifiable trail to assure identity.
 
The right to access issues exposed by GDPR point to a larger challenge around how people can confirm identity in the digital age. 
 
Estonia’s digital identity scheme, which although had a short outage when a vulnerability was discovered and later rectified, has become a model for best practice in the field of identity.  The Estonian ID-kaart is a mandatory identity document for citizens of Estonia, and along with a photo and chip and pin, the ID-kaart has a companion smart-ID app that is compatible with standard X.509 and TLS infrastructure. 
 
The government issues a client certificate to each citizen that has made it a convenient means of identification for web-based government services, medical records, tax claims, online banking and to make secure GDPR subject access requests.
For public services and local government that want to ensure a citizen’s identity, the best advice is to sign up for GOV.UK Verify, which the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) uses to check the identities of users who apply for Universal Credit.
 
Keep the Shredder Ready
Unfortunately, until GOV.UK Verify or similar services emerge that can help third parties to carry out digital identity assurance for free, or at least at low cost; the requirement to gain copies of physical documents will remain.
However, to ensure that documents submitted for access requests don’t themselves become targets for cyber-criminals; organisations must develop verifiable processes to destroy these documents after they have been examined and the request has been delivered.
 
For organisations that have developed rigorous customer on-boarding processes for Internet services that include identity validation methods, specialist data protection websites like IT Governance can provide the most effective way to verify and process access requests. However, this cannot be an exclusive option as non-electronic means must also be available to meet GDPR requirements.
 
Please contact Cyber Security Intelligence to connect with expert  GDPR Lawyers.
 
ITGovernance:             Infosecurity Magazine
 
You Might Also Read:
 
The GDPR Wake-Up Call Is Being Ignored By Business:
 
 
« Parliament Wants A New Cyber Security Director
WEBINAR: How to Leverage a CASB for Your AWS Environment »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Perimeter 81 / How to Select the Right ZTNA Solution

Gartner insights into How to Select the Right ZTNA offering. Download this FREE report for a limited time only.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout enables cyber security professionals to reduce cyber risk to their organization with proactive security solutions, providing immediate improvement in security posture and ROI.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

Roka Security

Roka Security

Roka Security is a boutique security firm specializing in full-scale network protection, defending against advanced attacks, and rapid response to security incidents.

Identiv

Identiv

Identiv is a global security technology company that establishes trust in the connected world, including premises, information and everyday items.

softScheck

softScheck

softScheck is an IT security consultancy. Services range from pentesting and compliance testing to security auditing of software and IT infrastructure.

Packet Ninjas

Packet Ninjas

Packet Ninjas is a niche cyber security agency with specialized expertise in the use of digital intelligence to strengthen cyber security.

Nexusguard

Nexusguard

Nexusguard is at the forefront of the fight against malicious Internet attacks, protecting organizations worldwide from threats to their websites, services, and reputations.

Nubo Software

Nubo Software

Nubo’s Virtual Mobile Infrastructure creates a virtual corporate device on your employee smartphones and tablets. Enable unlimited mobility without leaving any data at risk.

Dermalog Identification Systems

Dermalog Identification Systems

Dermalog Identification Systems is a pioneer in biometry and the largest German manufacturer of biometric devices and systems.

Cynterra

Cynterra

Cynterra is a next generation cloud cyber security and data analytical service provider offering cloud security compliance, data protection, visibility and threat protection services.

Pipeline Security

Pipeline Security

Pipeline Security protects businesses with real-time threat data, threat detection & prevention, continuous cyber security monitoring and security analytics.

PROOF

PROOF

PROOF is a Brazilian leader in cybersecurity. Our goal is to assist our Customers in managing security efficiently and in tune with business needs.

CyberFortress

CyberFortress

CyberFortress is an insuretech startup offering a new kind of online business interruption policy designed for small business.

Startupbootcamp Fintech & Cybersecurity

Startupbootcamp Fintech & Cybersecurity

Startupbootcamp is the world’s largest network of multi-corporate backed accelerators helping startups scale internationally.

e-Careers

e-Careers

e-Careers is an edtech institution that provides industry recognised courses and up-skilling solutions to individuals and organisations.

Pragma Strategy

Pragma Strategy

Pragma is a CREST approved global provider of cybersecurity solutions. We help organisations strengthen cyber resilience and safeguard valuable information assets with a pragmatic approach.

FiVerity

FiVerity

FiVerity provides financial institutions with cyber fraud defense to combat a dangerous and growing threat - the convergence of fraud-related theft with sophisticated, high-volume cyber attacks.

ViewQwest

ViewQwest

ViewQwest is a regional telecommunications & information technology services company. We specialize in providing Connectivity, Managed Network, Managed SD-WAN, and Managed Security solutions.