The Best GDPR Toolkit and Checklist

In a world where data flows everywhere constantly, it’s important to check all the data protection and security boxes so we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you build your own GDPR toolkit and checklist. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is widely used and mandatory in some regions. 

Developed by the EU, it’s a checklist of measures that ensure user data is protected in the event of a breach. Toolkits and checklists for GDPR compliance have been designed to help companies with websites and applications as a guide to data protection.


What Is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law within the EU on May 25, 2018. It was created to give EU citizens more control over their personal data. Under GDPR, companies must ensure that personally identifiable information (PII) is collected legally and that the data is appropriately managed and safeguarded. Almost everything we do as individuals and enterprises involve collecting and analyzing personal data. The GDPR aims to give people the power to protect their PII while telling organizations how to comply. 

Basically, GDPR is for businesses and citizens, so everyone in the European Union can fully benefit from the digital economy.


A GDPR Toolkit

A toolkit template for GDPR compliance looks like a checklist for policies and procedures that your organization needs to comply with. Toolkits typically come as a package of electronic files meant to be filled out and become a record of your efforts. Another option is an automated toolkit to get GDPR compliant. For example, software like Tugboat Logic is automated by code within a website. It runs your compliance program and is your single source of truth. 

GDPR compliance is difficult and time-consuming, so a toolkit that automates and fills out necessary forms is ideal. But we understand that there are many reasons why an organization may require or prefer to tackle GDPR on its own. So based on the GDPR’s own checklist, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you build your own GDPR toolkit.


DIY GDPR Toolkit Checklist

You can be on your way to GDPR compliance today with these steps in the right direction.

 Lawful Basis and Transparency

  • Conduct an information audit to determine what information you process and who has access to it.
  • Have a legal justification for your data processing activities.
  • Provide clear information about your data processing and a legal reason in your privacy policy.

A good starting point to determining lawful bias and transparency is data mapping. It’s an essential step towards GDPR compliance that involves understanding how data moves in your organization. Document the way data flows in your company by creating an inventory. It helps you demonstrate that you comply with GDPR. And it helps identify any gaps you may have.

To map your data, you’ll want to identify some critical areas, including:

  • The source—is the data from a form on your website or a list from an external third party?
  • Personal data—PII includes physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, IP addresses, health information, criminal records, place of work, etc. What are you collecting? Do you have consent?
  • Reasoning—this should be the most straightforward step in data mapping. Why do you have this information? Is it needed? 
  • Data Storage—storage can be physical like printed documents, locally stored on a computer owned by your organization or remote like on the cloud. Who might this data be exposed to in and out of your company? What security measures do you have to protect the data?
  • Data Disposal—under GDPR, individuals have a right to have their PII deleted. How will you handle these requests? How long will you hold on to the PII of others before it’s terminated?


Data Security

  • Take data protection into account at all times, from the moment you begin developing a product to each time you process data.
  • Encrypt, pseudonymize, or anonymize personal data wherever possible.
  • Create an internal security policy for your team members and build awareness about data protection.
  • Know when to conduct a data protection impact assessment and have a process to carry it out.
  • Have a process in place to notify the authorities and your data subjects in the event of a data breach.

One way to handle compliance across your business is to complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA). This provides an overview of the data you collect, how you use it and guides you through coping with associated risks. And it assists you in identifying how you plan to manage those risks.

Most organizations are not legally required to have a DPIA, but it’s still a helpful exercise. It makes you take a more comprehensive look at how your organization can achieve compliance and processes to help you take a robust data privacy and security approach. 


Accountability and Governance

  • Designate someone responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance across your organization.
  • Sign a data processing agreement between your organization and any third parties that process personal data on your behalf.
  • If your organization is outside the EU, appoint a representative within one of the EU member states.
  • Appoint a Data Protection Officer (if necessary).

Enterprises need to designate a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee the application of the GDPR. They protect personal data from misuse, unauthorized access and other security breaches. 

Regardless of size, an organization must appoint a DPO if:

  • The organization is a public authority or body.
  • The organization’s core activities consist of data processing operations that require regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale.
  • The organization’s core activities consist of large-scale processing of special categories of data (sensitive data such as personal information on health, religion, race or sexual orientation) and/or personal data relating to criminal convictions and offenses.

The DPO is empowered to evaluate and implement data protection policies. 


Privacy Rights

  • It’s easy for your customers to request and receive all the information you have about them.
  • It’s easy for your customers to correct or update inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • It’s easy for your customers to request to have their personal data deleted.
  • It’s easy for your customers to ask you to stop processing their data.
  • It’s easy for your customers to receive a copy of their personal data in a format that can be easily transferred to another company.
  • It’s easy for your customers to object to you processing their data.
  • If you make decisions about people based on automated processes, you have a procedure to protect their rights.

Almost every website you visit in today’s modern world has a privacy policy. So this is the first place people will look to check for GDPR compliance. The privacy policy communicates to people your legal basis for collecting and processing their PII. In plain English, it should detail the data you gather, holding periods, how to have it deleted and their rights under the GDPR.


Tugboat Logic’s GDPR Automated Compliance Toolkit

The complicated requirements of GDPR can be a challenge for small to medium-scale businesses, especially those with limited resources. Tugboat Logic helps your company prepare and stay ready for a GDPR audit at any time by acting as an interactive, automated, and comprehensive GDPR compliance toolkit and checklist.

Tugboat Logic helps remove GDPR challenges through our intuitive platform by:

  • Assessing initial compliance 
  • Building your GDPR compliance plan 
  • Creating processes to support that plan 
  • Training your employees to align them to your plan 
  • Documenting, auditing, and reporting on your company’s GDPR compliance

In addition, the platform provides a central system of record to assign controls to owners across your organization and store all evidentiary material, clearly proving you’ve implemented all GDPR controls. Tugboat Logic enables you to get ready for GDPR quickly and efficiently so that you can focus on what you do best, growing your business and taking care of your customers.

For more information about our automated GDPR toolkit, or if you have any questions for our team of in-house experts, contact us today.