Achieving GDPR Compliance Through Data Classification

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Richard Evans

November 23, 2023

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes strict requirements around securing and handling personal data. Classification plays a key role by allowing organisations to categorise data based on sensitivity and apply appropriate protections.

GDPR Guidelines on Classification

GDPR mandates that personal data be separated into normal and sensitive classes based on confidentiality. Sensitive data like health records, ethnicity and political opinions need strengthened security like encryption and restricted access.

Companies must also inform individuals about classifications, get explicit consent for collecting sensitive data and limit retention periods based on impact levels. Misclassifying can lead to data leaks or denial of service for customers.

Challenges With Manual Classification

Most organisations struggle to consistently classify large volumes of consumer data manually. Data ends up being mishandled when employees underestimate sensitivity levels.

Automating Classification for GDPR

Tools like Protective Marking allow enterprises to embed classification tags automatically during data capture stages.

Features include:

  • Pre-set labels aligned to GDPR data categories

  • Force users to classify during content creation

  • Visible markings on emails, docs, spreadsheets, and slides

  • Clear handling instructions

By mandating user classification upfront through Protective Marking, organisations can operationalise data governance to achieve GDPR compliance with reduced risk.

Get started on your GDPR classification program now. Sign up for a demo of Protective Marking.

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