GDPR has become a massive concern for software and web development companies. You might have seen or heard about the complex regulation – with lengthy legal requirements comprising hundreds of pages and 99 articles. It is natural that software developers find the regulation difficult to read and interpret. This is an easy to understand GDPR practical guide for developers that provides important definitions and a GDPR compliance checklist for software development. 

An interesting story first – Google and Facebook faced lawsuits on the first day of GDPR enactment! Though the IT giants were preparing for the GDPR compliance months before its implementation, however, the filer claimed that the existing consent systems were clearly GDPR non-compliant. 

So what is GDPR, where does it apply, and how to make your software GDPR compliant? Let’s explore the answers to these questions.

Interested in a guide on GDPR for web developers? Read this article.

GDPR for Software Developers

Let’s start with the basics  – here is a little introduction to GDPR along with important definitions. 

What is GDPR?

GDPR is short for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is an EU regulation for data privacy and protection of European citizens. This regulation was implemented on May 25, 2018. It applies to all businesses, software, and websites that use and process personal data of EU citizens in some way.

GDPR is not limited to businesses residing in the EU only – It imposes obligations on businesses everywhere, as long as a single EU resident uses their services. 

Why GDPR Compliance For Software Development?

If the GDPR compliance checklist for software development is not followed, the involved stakeholders may face hefty fines. In case a business is using software without GDPR technical implementation – it can face fines up to 4% of its total revenue!

Important Definitions

Here are a few important definitions associated with GDPR:

Personal Data

Personal data is any information that relates to an identifiable individual. The personal data isn’t just limited to names, addresses, and financial information. It includes genetic/biomedical data, health data, religious & social beliefs, personal opinions, and sexual orientation. 

Data Subject

Data subject is the person who is the owner of the data. GDPR gives rights of ownership to data subjects. Businesses can not get and process personal information of data subjects without their consent. Here is a list of a few rights of the data subject:

  1. The data subject has a right to be informed about the data acquisition and processing information.
  2. Must have a right of access to personal data.
  3. Ability to delete or take back his data at any time.
  4. Ability to restrict processing, sharing, and communicating data.
  5. Right to object on the usage and access to the data.

Data Controller

The data controller manages and decides the usage and processing of personal data. 

Data Processor 

Data processor represents all entities that process personal data on behalf of a data controller. The GDPR has special rules for such individuals, organizations, and third-party entities including cloud servers and data management systems. 

How to Make Your Software GDPR Compliant?

Data protection and privacy by design are the major requirements for GDPR compliance.

the software developer is aware of secure coding practices.

Now coming to the business, here is a GDPR compliance software development checklist covering all technical requirements of GDPR compliance.

In case you want to understand and implement HIPAA compliance, read this article.

GDPR compliance checklist for software development

  • User Consent

GDPR compliance demands the user’s consent before accessing and using personal data. Devise and distribute consent notices for your software according to GDPR. The consent notices must be clear and easily readable. Furthermore, consider all third-party partners the privacy notice and provide contact details for user support. 

  • Authentication

To protect data from unauthorized access, implement multifactor authentication in your software. Furthermore, tokenization can also strengthen data security.

  • Encryption

Data encryption is a process of making data unreadable, protecting it from attackers. Data encryption enhances data protection by adding an additional layer to security in data storage and communication.

  • Access Control

Access control controls authorized use of data. It gives more control to the user over their data. For example, in role-based access control, users are given access to the data according to their roles, and the personal information of the concerned users is not revealed un-necessarily.

  • Data Backup and Retention

Implement data backup and retention controls for your software. This practice will protect the original information in case of data loss. 

  • Secure Coding and Testing

Software vulnerabilities cause data breaches. Software engineers must learn secure coding practices to reduce vulnerabilities in the software. Furthermore, offensive security methodologies such as pen-testing can further reduce software vulnerabilities.

  • Security Audits

GDPR compliance is a continuous process. Security audits are crucial in the GDPR compliance checklist for software development. Moreover, conduct regular security audits of data collection, storage, usage, and sharing. 

Remember, GDPR compliance not only saves you from paying heavy fines, but it also gives your software and business a competitive edge. So if you want financial and reputation protection, make sure your software is GDPR compliant. For more information, you can contact our experts.

Here is a toast to friendship with customers:

“Friends don’t spy; true friendship is about privacy, too.”

Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

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