GDPR Enforcement and Penalties
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has attracted media and business interest because of the increased administrative fines for non-compliance. Not all infringements of the GDPR will lead to those serious fines.
Besides the power to impose fines, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) has a range of corrective powers and sanctions to enforce the GDPR. These include:
- Issuing warnings and reprimands;
- Imposing a temporary or permanent ban on data processing;
- Ordering the rectification, restriction or erasure of data, and;
- Suspending data transfers to third countries.
Data breaches happen. How prepared is your organisation?
Find out if your breach response plan stacks up against the requirements of the GDPR. Take our free breach readiness assessment to identify your gaps, get your overall score and receive a free personalised guide, explaining how you can address your risks.
Check your breach readiness score
What is the maximum administrative fine under the GDPR?
There are two tiers of administrative fines that can be levied as penalties for non-compliance:
- Up to €10 million, or 2% annual global turnover – whichever is higher.
- Up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover – whichever is higher.
The fines are based on the specific articles of the Regulation that the organisation has breached. Infringements of the organisation’s obligations, including data security breaches, will be subject to the lower level, whereas infringements of an individual’s privacy rights will be subject to the higher level.
When deciding whether to impose a fine and the level, the DPC must consider:
Learn more about the steps you need to take to comply with the GDPR >>
- The nature, gravity and duration of the infringement;
- The intentional or negligent character of the infringement;
- Any action taken by the organisation to mitigate the damage suffered by individuals;
- Technical and organisational measures that have been implemented by the organisation;
- Any previous infringements by the organisation or data processor;
- The degree of cooperation with the supervisory authority to remedy the infringement;
- The types of personal data involved;
- The way the supervisory authority found out about the infringement;
- The manner in which the infringement became known to the supervisory authority, in particular whether and to what extent the organisation notified the infringement;
- Whether, and, if so, to what extent, the controller or processor notified the infringement; and
- Adherence to approved codes of conduct or certification schemes.
Liability for damages
The GDPR also gives individuals the right to compensation of any material and/or non-material damages resulting from an infringement of the GDPR. In certain cases, not-for-profit bodies can bring representative action on behalf of individuals. This opens the door for mass claims in cases of large-scale infringements.
The possible remedies, liabilities and penalties that may result from non-compliance with the GDPR underline the importance of preparing your organisation.
Browse our range of comprehensive solutions, services and products today to help you meet your GDPR compliance objectives.
Download our free GDPR resources
Shop our range of GDPR products and services
Speak to a GDPR expert
If you’re looking for help with your GDPR project, get in touch with our experts who can advise you on which of our products and services are best suited to your needs.