These days data privacy has become very important for most online platforms. Many Americans and Europeans believe that the government and private companies monitor and track their offline and online activities. According to Pew Research Center, 62% of US citizens believe that companies collect their data, and 63% believe the government collects them. Due to these concerns, the European Union enforced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25th May 2018. This post will help you understand GDPR and how to master compliance for your eLearning systems. Keep reading to gain more insight.
The main task of the designed regulation is to improve the accountability and transparency of platforms that process personal data — certainly, this help in promoting a private culture, clarifying and protecting the privacy of regular users.
What is GDPR Meant for in E-Learning?
The GDPR is meant for any company or platform providing services to EU people or tracking their behaviors. For example, via cookies or online profiles. These companies must comply with GDPR compliances whether they are situated in the EU.
The main goal of implementing the GDPR was to protect EU citizens from data breaches. It was also meant to protect private data. Unfortunately, laws set in the ’90s are outdated and cannot offer the proper data protection or privacy that EU citizens need.
You should also know that there are repercussions for not complying with this legislation. Companies that do not comply with GDRP regulations face a fine of 4% of the annual turnover or €20 million.
Read also: MyOwnConference updates about the GDPR
Mastering the GDPR Compliance
It is crucial to understand the basic things about GDPR before looking at how it can be compatible with e-learning systems. There are common terminologies usually used in GDPR, and will help you understand a few things about this regulation. Here they are:
- This refers to anything an organization can do with your data. For example, it could be collecting, storing, transmitting, or sharing data. If the company handles your data in any way, that is called processing.
- These are companies that store, collect or manage your data. A good example is a bank, which takes your data to give you banking services.
- This is an organization that provides data storage and processing.
- It refers to an instructor or a learner.
- Consent indicates that the data subject is okay with the collected or processed data. For example, they can deliberately click the approval button to allow the company to use the information.
What GDPR Compliance Means for LMS and E-Learning Platforms
E-learning and LMS platforms function predominantly to process, manage, report and analyze users’ data. On the other hand, GDPR compliance improves security, accountability, and privacy. This means that all EU businesses using LMS platforms must comply with GDPR compliance regulations.
The updated GDPR compliance regulation does not only emphasize EU-hosted LMS. Companies can also use LMS platforms hosted in other countries so long as the platform recognizes the GDPR or EU level of protection.
Typically, you and your provider usually share the GDPR compliance. But as a controller, you control data, set processing goals and data subjects. The eLearning system should be your instructors, learners, and training administrators.
The GDPR compliance regulation affects the eLearning systems by implementing various factors. Obviously, the good thing is that it allows users to know who is holding their data and what it is for. Besides, this allows them to give consent to their personal data without worrying much.
GDPR and the E-Learning System
There are a few things eLearning systems should cover to become GDPR compliant. They include:
- Getting consent from users is very important for data security practices. Companies must ensure employees and customers have permitted them to use their data before processing and analyzing the data.
- GDPR ensures that organizations have the right to collect the data they are requesting from their customers or users. It also provides that companies use that information for limited purposes only.
Data Breach Notifications
- The GDPR compliance regulation indicates that breach data notifications are a must. This is in the case where data breaches cause risks in the freedoms and rights of users or individuals.
Rights of Individual
- The GDPR outline the rights of the data subject, where they have the right to get the controller’s confirmation if their personal data is being processed and for what purposes. Other rights include the right to rectification, the right to access, the right to object, the right to be forgotten, the right to erasure, the right to data portability, etc.
Privacy by Design
- This is another thing that the eLearning system must cover to comply with GDRP regulations. In article 23 of this legislation. Controllers must store and use data they only require to complete their tasks. Accordingly, it means they must minimize the accumulation of data and control access to personal information.
What Is Personals Data
This is what GDRP focuses on, and all individuals must be aware of what personal data entails if they want to practice their freedom and rights. Basically, personal data is any information that relates to an individual directly or indirectly. Generally, it may include emails, names, addresses, numbers, etc.
In the GDPR compliance regulation, personal data may include:
- An individual’s appearance. That may consist of skin color, height, eye color, weight, traits, hair color, body marks, etc.
- Workplace and education details
- Personal opinions such as religious beliefs, political stand or geo-tracking data
- Social-biographical information like the date of birth, home address, phone number, etc.
- Medical history includes dental history, pre-existing illnesses, genetic information, and health insurance policy.
Why Comply with GDPR Regulations?
GDPR ensures privacy by protecting citizens’ personal data. This gives people the confidence to share their information on online platforms as they know what it will be used for and with whom. However, it is also important to follow the regulations to avoid heavy fines that may bring your business down.
As shown above, we have mentioned only a few things about GDPR to help you understand the regulation. Unfortunately, in most cases, GDPR is usually overlooked for eLearning systems.
As a result, this guide should help you understand how GDPR is effective in eLearning. And if you want to understand the actual legislation, seek help from your legal services.
Milica Vojnic is an experienced senior marketing associate at Wisetek who specialises in ensuring businesses are GDPR-compliant.