GDPR Internal Audit Checklist

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Since 2018 there is a new regulation regarding the collecting and processing of personal data from EU Citizens, which is called the General Data Protection Regulation GDPR). The EU GDPR is currently enforced, and the first fines were already given to famous companies, such as Google, British Airways, Marriott International (110 Mln EUR), H&M (35 Mln EUR), TIM (27.8 Mln EUR), Austrian Post (18 Mln EUR), and more GDPR Fines were given. This regulation replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive, makes changes to the way data is handled and processed in the EU.

How to perform an internal GDPR audit?

According to the EU GDPR, you are required to identify and minimize the data protection risks of your organization. The documentation of processing activities is a legal requirement under the EU GDPR, which also probably your organization needs to comply with. It's therefore highly important that you document your data processing activities and that you also support good data governance, and help you to demonstrate your compliance with other aspects of the GDPR. This GDPR Data Audit Procedure Form explains those steps and lists all of the documentation, policies, and procedures you need to have in place, and gives an overview of how far you are with your compliance journey. This way, if you keep track of those steps taken, it helps you to become GDPR compliant. 

The purpose of an Internal Audit is an analysis of the personal data protection system of the organization or company. During the audit, the auditors shall check compliance with the Data Protection Law and GDPR requirements. The auditors check the documents and procedures and look for evidence that the procedures are respected. In case of noncompliance or error, the auditors shall start corrective or preventive actions. One of the benefits of the audit are recommendations for improvement. 

The top management has the responsibility to develop and monitor Data Protection System. If the organization has DPO  (Data Protection Officer), he/she is responsible for Internal Audit Procedure. At least once a year the Internal Audit should be conducted.

  1. The management appoints internal auditors and provides means for their training.
  2. Internal auditors are responsible to initiate corrective actions in case of noncompliance. 
  3. The management approves the Audit Plan.
  4. Internal auditors are responsible to initiate corrective actions in case of noncompliance and contribute to the Internal Audit Report. 

Why GDPR is important for companies outside the EU?

First of all, GDPR isn’t exclusively enforceable on EU-based companies. The regulation affects organizations both inside and outside of the European Union (EU). Any organization dealing with EU businesses, residents, or citizens’ data will have to comply with the GDPR! The regulations make it very clear that all organizations handling such data will be required to comply, regardless of location or jurisdiction. Since the Regulation applies regardless of where the organization is based, you will also need to ensure your website is GDPR proof if that website attracts European visitors, even if you don't specifically market goods and/or services to EU citizens.

Articles 12, 13, and 14 of the GDPR provide detailed instructions on how to create a privacy notice, placing an emphasis on making them easy to understand and accessible. If you are collecting data directly from someone, you have to provide them with your privacy notice at the moment you do so.

Note that the terms “privacy notice” and “privacy policy” do not actually appear in the text of the GDPR and are essentially interchangeable. The guidelines explained in this article apply to any public documents in which your organization describes its data processing activities to customers and the public. If an organization is collecting information from an individual directly, it must include the following information in its privacy notice, such as the identity and contact details of the organization, its representative, and its Data Protection Officer (DPO). According to the GDPR, organizations must provide people with a privacy notice that is:

  • In a concise, transparent, intelligible, and easily accessible form
  • Written in clear and plain language, particularly for any information addressed specifically to a child
  • Delivered in a timely manner
  • Provided free of charge

The GDPR also stipulates what information an organization must share in a privacy notice. There is a slight variation in requirements depending on whether an organization collects its data directly from an individual or receives it as a third party. Whether the provision of personal data is part of a statutory or contractual requirement or obligation and the possible consequences of failing to provide the personal data.

Per Article 14(3), if you obtain personal data from a third party, you must communicate the above information to the data subject either: no later than one month after you have obtained the data, at the time you first communicate with the data subject, or before sharing the data with another organization.

Download this GDPR Internal Audit Procedure if your organization collects personal data directly from EU Citizens and you want to have a clear overview of how far you are compliant with the Privacy directive. For more GDPR Document Templates, check out this mandatory documentation, policies, and procedures you must have if you want to become GDPR compliant Overview GDPR Documents for Compliance. 

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Marie Hoover(6/10/2022) - AUS

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Was able to deliver results quickly

Dennis Bay(4/29/2021)

For our SME a good start for GDPR compliance

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Jerrica Barron(4/29/2021) - DEU

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Kattie Gentry(4/29/2021) - AUS

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Kathlyn Carson(1/30/2021) - DEU

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