On the 25th of May 2018 a new data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will take effect in the European Union. The GDPR aims to strengthen the data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU and brings with it the most significant changes to data protection law in two decades. Based on privacy-by-design and taking a risk-based approach, the GDPR has been designed to meet the requirements of the digital age.
The 21st Century brings with it broader use of technology, new definitions of what constitutes personal data, and a vast increase in cross-border processing. The new Regulation aims to standardize data protection laws and processing across the EU; affording individuals stronger, more consistent rights to access and control their personal information.
LuxSci’s GDPR Commitment
Being a smaller United Stated based organization with some exposure to citizens of the European Union, at LuxSci we are committed to ensuring the security and protection of the personal information that we process. We have also implemented technologies and procedures to provide a compliant and consistent approach to data protection. We have always had a robust and effective data protection program in place which complies with existing Unite States laws and abides by the data protection principles. However, we recognize our obligations in updating and expanding this program to meet the demands of the GDPR relating to citizens of the European Union and the unique demands of GDPR.
We are dedicated to safeguarding the personal information under our remit and in developing a data protection regime that is effective, fit for purpose and demonstrates an understanding of, and appreciation for the new Regulation. Our preparation and objectives for GDPR compliance have been summarized in this statement and include the development and implementation of new data protection roles, policies, procedures, controls and measures to ensure maximum and ongoing compliance.
LuxSci Services and GDPR Compliance
All of LuxSci’s services are GDPR compliant except for SecureVideo and SecureChat. These services are primarily used by US-organizations that require HIPAA compliance and are provided through reseller arrangements with other organizations which are not GDPR-compliant and who do not offer services to the EU.
How We Have Prepared for the GDPR
At LuxSci we already have a consistent level of data protection and security across our organization, however it is our aim to be fully compliant with the applicable provisions of GDPR as well.
Our preparation included:
- Information Audit – carrying out a company-wide information audit to identify and assess what personal information we hold, where it comes from, how and why it is processed and if and to whom it is disclosed.
- Policies & Procedures – implemented data protection policies and procedures to meet the requirements and standards of the GDPR and any relevant data protection laws, including:
- Data Protection –Accountability and governance measures are in place to ensure that we understand and adequately disseminate and evidence our obligations and responsibilities; with a dedicated focus on privacy by design and the rights of individuals.
- Data Retention & Erasure – we have implemented policies to ensure that we meet the ‘data minimization’ and ‘storage limitation’ principles and that personal information is stored, archived and destroyed compliantly and ethically. We have dedicated erasure procedures in place to meet the new ‘Right to Erasure’ obligation and are aware of when this and other data subject’s rights apply; along with any exemptions, response timeframes and notification responsibilities.
- Data Breaches – our breach procedures ensure that we have safeguards and measures in place to identify, assess, investigate and report any personal data breach at the earliest possible time.
- Subject Access Request (SAR) – we have implemented a subject request form to accommodate the 30-day timeframe for providing the requested information and for making this provision free of charge. Our new procedures detail how to verify the data subject, what steps to take for processing an access request, what exemptions apply and a suite of response templates to ensure that communications with data subjects are compliant, consistent and adequate.
- Obtaining Consent – we have implemented consent forms for obtaining personal data, ensuring that individuals understand what they are providing, why and how we use it and giving clear, defined ways to consent to us processing their information. We have developed stringent processes for recording consent, making sure that we can evidence an affirmative opt-in, along with time and date records; and an easy to see and access way to withdraw consent at any time.
- Direct Marketing – we revised the wording and processes for direct marketing, including clear opt-in mechanisms for marketing subscriptions; a clear notice and method for opting out and providing unsubscribe features on all subsequent marketing materials.
- Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA) – where we process personal information that is considered high risk, involves large scale processing or includes special category/criminal conviction data; we have developed stringent procedures and assessment templates for carrying out impact assessments that comply fully with the GDPR’s Article 35 requirements. We have implemented documentation processes that record each assessment, allow us to rate the risk posed by the processing activity and implement mitigating measures to reduce the risk posed to the data subject(s).
- Processor Agreements – where we use any third-party to process personal information on our behalf (e.g. Cloud Providers, Premium Email Filtering, etc), we have drafted compliant Processor Agreements and due diligence procedures for ensuring that they (as well as we), meet and understand their/our GDPR obligations.
Data Subject Rights
In addition to the policies and procedures mentioned above that ensure EU citizens can enforce their data protection rights, we provide easy to access information via our website of an EU citizen’s right to access any personal information that LuxSci processes about them and to request information about:
- What personal data we hold about them
- The purposes of the processing
- The categories of personal data concerned
- The recipients to whom the personal data has/will be disclosed
- How long we intend to store your personal data for
- If we did not collect the data directly from them, information about the source
- The right to have incomplete or inaccurate data about them corrected or completed and the process for requesting this
- The right to request erasure of personal data (where applicable) or to restrict processing in accordance with data protection laws, as well as to object to any direct marketing from us and to be informed about any automated decision-making that we use
- The right to lodge a complaint or seek judicial remedy and who to contact in such instances
Information Security & Technical and Organizational Measures
LuxSci takes the privacy and security of individuals and their personal information very seriously and takes every reasonable measure and precaution to protect and secure the personal data that we process. We have robust information security policies and procedures in place to protect personal information from unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction and have several layers of security measures, including: use of TLS and other encryption technologies, access controls, strong password policies, multi-factor authentication, multi-location backups, etc.
GDPR Roles and LuxSci Employees
LuxSci has designated CEO Erik Kangas, PhD to be our Data Protection Officer (DPO) and has also appointed a data privacy team to develop and implement our roadmap for complying with the new data protection Regulation. The team are responsible for promoting awareness of the GDPR across the organization, assessing our GDPR readiness, identifying any gap areas and implementing the new policies, procedures and measures as needed.
LuxSci understands that continuous employee awareness and understanding is vital to the continued compliance of the GDPR and have involved our employees in our preparation plans. We have implemented an employee training program specific to GDPR which has been provided to all employees and forms part of our induction and annual training program.
If you have any questions about our compliance with the applicable requirements of GDPR, please contact Erik Kangas.