10 Key GDPR Requirements

Published on : 20 Mar 2024

10 GDPR Requirements

Is your business unknowingly at risk?  

The stakes are high when it comes to how businesses handle personal data. A staggering 90% of people have made it clear: they won’t support companies who don’t prioritize data privacy and protection.  

This is no small concern – tech giants like Facebook and Google have fueled a global debate on privacy, often finding themselves in legal trouble after mishandling user data. 

If you don’t understand the GDPR regulation, you could be breaking data protection rules. But here’s the good news: GDPR builds digital trust between you and your customers. By showing care for their data, you foster loyalty. 

GDPR is more than avoiding fines; it’s about building trust. In this post, we’ll guide you through 10 key GDPR requirements. By the end, you’ll know how GDPR compliance protects your business. 


Essential Key Requirements: 


Lawful, Fair and Transparent Processing 

  • Lawful: Have a legal basis to process data, such as consent, contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task, or legitimate interests. 
  • Fair: Process data fairly, avoiding undue detriment, unexpectedness, or misleading individuals. 
  • Transparent: Be clear about how you collect, use, and store personal data, typically through a privacy policy. 

This principle essentially ensures respectful and clear handling of personal data, fostering trust between you and your customers. 


Purpose, Data and Storage Limitation 

  • Purpose Limitation: Collect data for a specific reason and tell people what it is. Don’t use it for anything else. 
  • Data Minimization: Only collect the bare minimum information you need. The more data you have, the riskier it is. 
  • Storage Limitation: Don’t keep people’s data longer than necessary. Have a plan to delete it when you’re done. 

Example: For a newsletter, you only need an email address (and maybe a name). Asking for more is unnecessary. 


Data Subject Rights 

The GDPR gives individuals powerful rights in relation to their personal data. Your business must be prepared to respect and fulfill these rights. 

  1. Right of Access: Provide mechanisms for individuals to access their personal data and information about its processing. 
  2. Right to Rectification: Implement procedures to promptly correct inaccurate or incomplete personal data upon request. 
  3. Right to Erasure: Establish protocols for deleting personal data when legally requested (e.g., withdrawal of consent, data no longer needed). 
  4. Right to Restriction of Processing: Be able to limit data processing under specific circumstances, if requested. 
  5. Right to Data Portability: Provide data in a structured, machine-readable format for transfer to another controller upon request. 
  6. Right to Object: Have processes in place to address objections to processing, especially for direct marketing or where processing is based on legitimate interest. 



Consent is one of several lawful bases for processing personal data under the GDPR. However, it has strict requirements you must meet to ensure it is freely given and informed.  

  • Freely Given: You cannot bundle consent with other terms, pre-tick boxes, or make it a precondition for a service. You must give individuals a genuine choice to say yes or no. 
  • Specific: You must tie consent to specific purposes. Blanket consent for wide-ranging processing is not valid. 
  • Informed: You must give individuals clear information about what they are consenting to, including who the controller is, and how you will use their data. 
  • Undeniable: You need clear affirmative action (e.g., ticking a box, signing a form) for consent. Silence or inactivity do not suffice.  
  • Revocable: You must allow individuals to withdraw consent at any time and make this withdrawal as easy as initially giving consent. 


Personal Data Breaches: 

A personal data breach is an accidental or unlawful event causing unauthorized access, destruction, loss, alteration, or disclosure of personal data. Examples are hacking, lost laptops, or misdirected data. 

  • Detect and Assess: Have quick detection systems and assess harm risk. 
  • Notify Authority: If breach risks individuals’ rights, inform the authority within 72 hours (about 3 days) unless risk is unlikely. 
  • Notify Individuals: If high risk to individuals, notify them promptly. 
  • Contain and Mitigate: Immediately stop the breach and minimize impact. 
  • Document: Keep records of breaches, actions, and decisions. 


Privacy by Design and by Default: 

The GDPR requires you to embed data protection into your processes and technologies from the start through the core principles of Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default. 

  • Privacy by Design: You must proactively build privacy in at every stage when designing new products, services, or business practices – not reactively. 
  • Privacy by Default: You must ensure user-friendly privacy settings are the default. You should only collect and process the minimum necessary personal data for a defined purpose. 

Privacy by Design and by Default are not a one-time fix. They require an ongoing commitment to embedding data protection into your organization’s DNA. 



Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs): 

You must conduct a DPIA, which is a systematic process designed to help you identify and minimize data protection risks associated with new projects or processing activities. 

When conducting DPIA, processing is likely to result in a high risk to individuals’ rights and freedoms. This is likely in cases involving: 

  • Large-scale processing of personal data 
  • Processing of sensitive data (health, biometrics, etc.) 
  • Systematic monitoring (e.g., employee surveillance) 
  • New technologies (facial recognition, AI-based decision-making) 


International Data Transfers: 

GDPR governs data transfer outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Organizations must consider this when transferring data to countries with varying data protection laws. 

  • Adequacy Decisions: Some countries have GDPR-comparable laws, allowing free data transfer. 
  • Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs): Pre-approved contracts for data protection in countries without adequacy decisions. 
  • Additional Safeguards: Encryption or data minimization may be needed for certain transfers. 
  • Transfer Impact Assessments (TIAs): Assess risks before transferring data. 
  • Data Subject Rights: GDPR rights apply internationally. 

Remember, the data-sending organization ensures adequate protection. Stay updated on regulations and adequacy decisions. 


Data Protection Officers (DPOs):  

It is very crucial for GDPR compliance. They’re required if your organization is a public body, monitors individuals on a large scale, or processes sensitive data extensively. 

DPOs have several responsibilities: 

  • Advise and monitor data protection practices. 
  • Conduct staff training. 
  • Serve as a contact point. 
  • Oversee Data Protection Impact Assessments. 
  • Assist with data breach management. 

DPOs should be independent, knowledgeable about GDPR, and well-resourced. Even if not mandatory, having a DPO shows commitment to data protection. 



Accountability is a core GDPR principle. It means taking responsibility for your data protection practices and being able to demonstrate compliance, not just claim it. 

How to Exhibit Accountability: 

  • Documentation: Maintain records of data protection activities. 
  • Privacy by Design and Default: Incorporate privacy in systems and processes. 
  • DPIA: Perform DPIAs for high-risk activities. 
  • Staff Training: Train staff on data protection practices. 
  • Incident Response: Establish procedures for managing data breaches. 
  • Data Subject Rights: Set up mechanisms for individuals to exercise rights. 
  • DPO: Appoint a DPO if necessary. 
  • Regular Reviews and Audits: Regularly evaluate and update data protection measures. 

These were the points we discussed above and need to be implemented perfectly to achieve GRPR compliance. 


The GDPR may seem complex, but it empowers individuals and businesses alike. By embracing these principles, you gain a competitive advantage. Proactive data protection builds trust, unlocking the full potential of data. Take charge of your data practices now. If you need support, expert resources are available at our VISTA InfoSec website to guide your compliance journey. 


Let us help you 

Need expert help with GDPR compliance? We’ve been guiding organizations since the regulation’s start. Our comprehensive services ensure your data protection controls are robust.

We have a dedicated team of privacy experts offering both auditing and consulting/advisory services to help you define robust processes and achieve lasting compliance. Our proven track record includes successful GDPR readiness assessments, gap analysis, policy development, and final certification support.

As a vendor-neutral partner with a strict no-outsourcing policy, we prioritize the confidentiality and integrity of your data throughout the process. We specialize in the following technical assessments crucial for GDPR compliance:

  • Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs)
  • Records of Processing Activities (ROPAs)
  • Data Breach Notification Procedures
  • Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) Processes
  • Privacy by Design Reviews

Eu GDPR Compliance


Let us help you navigate the GDPR landscape with confidence and protect your organization from costly penalties. Contact us today for a personalized consultation.

Narendra Sahoo
Narendra Sahoo

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QPA, PCI QSA, PCI SSF ASSESSOR, CISSP, CISA, CRISC, 27001 LA) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr. Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2 Compliance & Audit, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.