9 Essential Practices for a GDPR-Compliant Website

Blocksurvey blog author
Apr 3, 2024 · 3 mins read

Data privacy has become a chief concern in this age, leading to the establishment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union.

Enacted on May 25, 2018, the GDPR sets strict requirements for organizations that process individuals' personal data.

Understanding GDPR compliance is a legal necessity for website owners and a cornerstone of building user trust.

Achieving GDPR compliance involves a multifaceted approach, encompassing everything from how personal data is collected and stored to how individuals can exercise their rights over their data.

This guide outlines the essential practices for creating a GDPR-compliant website.

Following these practices is crucial for data protection in today's interconnected world.

Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy details all data collection points and how data will be used. It's a method of gaining consent to collect and process personal information. It should be readily available on your website and easy to understand.

The privacy policy should be updated regularly, and updated links should be shared with users through email notifications.

You can seek the help of a GDPR legal counsel to create your privacy policy.

You can use the policy generator tool to create your privacy policy.

Cookie Management

As part of GDPR, you must notify users that your website collects cookie data and provide detailed information about your cookies, including their purpose and lifespan.

You can use the cookie banner to receive GDPR cookie consent from users. The banner should include opt-in and opt-out options. Providing opt-out should block cookies in subsequent visits as well

The banner must explain why you need to set cookies.

You must also allow users to withdraw their consent easily at any time.

Data Protection

Data Protection is a important concern of GDPR.

Organizations must conduct a DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment) for activities that are likely to result in a high risk to the rights of data subjects. This involves assessing the necessity and risks of the processing.

You can consider appointing a Data Protection Officer. A DPO can be sought under the following circumstances.

  • A large amount of data collected
  • Profile data is collected
  • Regular monitoring of data

Ensuring only necessary data is collected is an easier way to protect data.

Use strong passwords for admin accounts & take data backups.

Data Subject Rights

GDPR grants individuals several rights, including the right to access, modify, and erase their personal data. Users can request a copy of their data or delete it from servers.

Data subjects also have the right to object to certain types of data processing. They can restrict processing. Data portability helps in receiving data on requests.

All data collection points, like contact forms, should contain a checkbox to receive approval for data collection. This informs the data subject of data collected.

It is also a good practice to receive consent for email newsletters.

Secure Data Transfer

GDPR ensures secure data transfer.

Encryption and other security measures should be used to protect data during transfer.

Use the HTTPS protocol to give visitors a feeling of security. HTTPS encrypts information sharing between the site and the server.

If your business website relies on transferring personal data from EU to non-EU countries, then you should ensure the following:

  • Do necessary risk assessments before transferring the data.
  • Ensure the recipient country provides an adequate level of data protection system.

Data Breach Notification

Data breach refers to stealing information without the system owner's knowledge.

A plan like the one below for dealing with data breaches is good.

  • Notify the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours.
  • Communicating to the affected data subjects without undue delay.

You can use email as a channel to send data breach notifications.

Regular Compliance Audits

GDPR wants organizations to conduct regular compliance audits.

Keeping detailed records is required for a smooth audit process.

Below are a few questions to ask yourself when facing compliance audits.

  • What is the reason for collecting data?
  • Where is the data stored?
  • How is the data stored?
  • Is any sensitive data stored?
  • How long is data stored?

Third-Party Compliance

Many websites use third-party components in some way. Analytics or tracking tools, plug-ins to implement certain features or a third-party chat service.

GDPR also requires your third-party services & vendors to be GDPR compliant.

Monitor third-party risks and ensure third-party are also GDPR compliant.

Include clauses in contracts with these third parties that clearly state their obligations under GDPR.

Age Verification

GDPR restricts the collection of data from people aged below 16.

This means the user must be at least 16 to collect data.

It is important to verify the age of the user.

The GDPR requirement is that the parental form be filled out to lawfully collect data from users under the age of 16.

Concluding Thoughts

Implementing GDPR-compliant practices is a critical task for any website operating within or catering to users in the European Union.

Website owners can ensure GDPR compliance by following the essential practices outlined in this blog. A GDPR-compliant website serves as a testament to your dedication to data protection.

It's important to remember that GDPR compliance is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process. Regularly reviewing your website's compliance status, staying informed about changes in data protection laws, and being proactive in implementing necessary adjustments are key to maintaining GDPR compliance.

Here is how you perform a 5-step GDPR Compliance Risk Assessment.

Finally, it's about building stronger relationships with your users and setting a high standard for your website.

9 Essential Practices for a GDPR-Compliant Website FAQ

What is GDPR and why does it apply to my website?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it applies to any website that collects or processes personal data of individuals in the European Union.

Why is it important to have a GDPR-compliant website?

Having a GDPR-compliant website ensures that you are protecting the privacy and data rights of your users, which can help build trust and credibility with your audience.

What are the key principles of GDPR compliance for websites?

Key principles include obtining consent for data collection, being transparent about data practices, implementing security measures, and honoring data subject rights.

How can I ensure my website is GDPR-compliant?

You can ensure compliance by conducting a data audit, updating privacy policies, implementing data protection measures, and training staff on GDPR requirements.

Do I need to appoint a Data Protection Officer for my website?

You may need to appoint a Data Protection Officer if your website processes large amounts of sensitive data or engages in systematic monitoring of individuals.

What are the consequences of non-compliance with GDPR regulations?

Non-complince can result in hefty fines, reputational damage, and loss of customer trust, so it's important to take GDPR requirements seriously.

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blog author description

Sarath Shyamson

Sarath Shyamson is the customer success person at BlockSurvey and also heads the outreach. He enjoys volunteering for the church choir.


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