GDPR Compliance Statement

SmartServers GDPR Compliance Statement

Introduction

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across the European Union on 25th May 2018. The GDPR represents the most significant changes to data protection law in two decades. Based on privacy by design and taking a risk-based approach the GDPR has been designed to meet the requirements of the digital age. The 21st Century brings with it broader use of technology, new definitions of what constitutes personal data and a vast increase in cross-border processing. The GDPR aims to standardize data protection laws and processing across the EU affording individuals stronger and more consistent rights to access and control their personal information. Any individual, company or businesses providing services to EU residents and/or collecting personal data of any EU resident will need to take into consideration and comply with applicable requirements of the GDPR.

Data protection definitions

  • Data Subject: The individual whose personal data is being processed.
  • Data Controller: The natural or legal person, such as a company, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.
  • Data Processor: An organization which processes data on behalf of a Controller. This typically means a third party who is used by the Controller to process their data (e.g. a hosting company used by the Controller to provide support for web sites, email and other associated services).
  • Personal data: Any information relating to an identified or identifiable real person. An identifiable real person is defined as any real person who can be directly or indirectly identified.
  • Processing: Any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collecting, recording, transmission, storage, conservation, extracting, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission and so on.

Our GDPR Commitment

SmartServers is committed to ensuring the security and protection of the personal information that we process and to provide a compliant and consistent approach to data protection. We have always had a robust and effective data protection program in place which complies with existing applicable laws and abides by industry standard data protection principles. However, we recognize our obligations and have updated and expanded these provisions to meet the demands of the GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018.

This GDPR statement is our way of helping you meet your own GDPR regulatory requirements where applicable and to offer you assurance that we take GDPR and the security of all personal data seriously as part of the everyday running of our services.

SmartServers recognizes our role as a Data Processor and our responsibilities under the GDPR. We are dedicated to safeguarding the personal information under our remit and in developing and maintaining a data protection regime that is effective, fit for purpose and demonstrates an understanding of and appreciation for the new GDPR related regulations.

SmartServers's role under the GDPR

SmartServers acts as both a Data Processor and a Data Controller under the GDPR. We act as a Data Processor when we process personal data on behalf of our customers in the provision of our services.

SmartServers acts as a Data Controller when we collect information from our customers which will be used for account management and support and service related matters. This information includes data such as the customer name, business address and email contact address.

Our role as a Data Processor

You are the owner of the data you submit to our services (whether they are hosted on your premises or on our servers). When your data is placed on our servers, you are the Data Controller and SmartServers is the Data Processor. We have access to the data you store on our servers and any processing as a Data Processor is only for the purpose of the data hosting and maintenance related services we provide to you. We do not use your data for any processing of our own. We do not share or provide access to any of your data with third parties unless required to do so by law. Where law enforcement or other authorized parties request access to our servers we follow strict internal policies for dealing with such requests in line with applicable laws which generally require any third parties to demonstrate they have a lawful reason to access the data and under what authority.

Our customer's role under the GDPR

Our customers would generally be considered as being Data Controllers and as such would have their own responsibilities under the GDPR and would generally bear the primary responsibility of ensuring that the processing of the personal data under their control complies with the GDPR. Subject to the provisions of the GDPR where applicable our customers are generally responsible for obtaining necessary consents from Data Subjects and for establishing their own policies for ensuring compliance with the GDPR and other applicable laws and regulations as well other applicable privacy policies, agreements, or other obligations relating to the collection of personal data in connection with the use of our services.

Our compliance with the GDPR

SmartServers has fully assessed our own GDPR compliance both in terms of the services we offer to our customers and in terms of our own internal policies and procedures. SmartServers already has a consistent and high level of data protection and security across our organization and infrastructure however we have implemented additional provisions in order to be fully compliant with the GDPR. These include:

Information Audits to identify and assess what personal information we hold, where it comes from, how and why it is processed and if and to whom it is disclosed.

Revising and expanding on existing data protection policies and procedures in order to meet the requirements and standards of the GDPR and other relevant data protection laws including:

  • Data Protection. Our policies and procedures for data protection have been revised to meet the standards and requirements of the GDPR. Accountability and governance measures are in place to ensure that we understand and adequately disseminate and evidence our obligations and responsibilities with a dedicated focus on privacy by design and the rights of individuals.
  • Data Retention & Erasure. We have updated our retention policy and schedule to ensure that we meet the data minimization and storage limitation principles and that personal information is stored, archived and destroyed compliantly and ethically. We have dedicated erasure procedures in place to meet the new 'Right to Erasure' obligation and are aware of when this and other Data Subject rights apply along with any exemptions, response time frames and notification responsibilities.
  • Data Breaches. Our breach procedures ensure that we have safeguards and measures in place to identify, assess, investigate and report any personal data breach at the earliest possible time. Our procedures are robust and have been communicated to all employees making them aware of the reporting lines and steps to follow. In the unlikely event of a breach occurring (as defined in the GDPR) we will notify all affected parties within 48 hours of the breach coming to our attention. This will allow sufficient time for our customers where applicable to consider their requirements under GDPR for reporting the breach to the appropriate parties and Data Subjects.
  • International Data Transfers & Third Party Disclosures. Where SmartServers stores or transfers personal information outside the EU we have robust procedures and safeguarding measures in place to secure, encrypt and maintain the integrity of the data. Our procedures include a continual review of the countries with sufficient adequacy decisions as well as provisions for binding corporate rules, standard data protection clauses or approved codes of conduct for those countries without. We carry out strict due diligence checks with any and all recipients of personal data to assess and verify that they have appropriate safeguards in place to protect the information, ensure enforceable Data Subject rights and have effective legal remedies for Data Subjects where applicable.
  • Subject Access Request (SAR). We have revised our SAR procedures to accommodate the revised 30-day time frame for providing the requested information and for making this provision free of charge. We have procedures in place on how to verify the Data Subject, steps to take for processing an access request, what exemptions may apply and response templates to ensure that communications with data subjects are compliant, consistent and adequate.
  • Legal Basis for Processing. Where applicable we have reviewed all processing activities to identify the legal basis for processing to ensure that each basis is appropriate for the activity it relates to. Where applicable, we also maintain records of our processing activities ensuring that our obligations under Article 30 of the GDPR and Schedule 1 of the UK Data Protection Act 2018 are met.
  • Privacy Notice/Policy. Where applicable we have revised our privacy related policies to comply with the GDPR ensuring that all individuals whose personal information we process have been informed of why we need it, how it is used, what their rights are, who the information is disclosed to and what safeguarding measures are in place to protect their information.
  • Obtaining Consent. Where applicable we have revised our consent mechanisms for obtaining personal data, ensuring that individuals understand what they are providing, why and how we use it and giving clear, defined ways to consent to us processing their information. Where applicable we have processes for recording consent along with time and date records and provide the ability to allow Data Subjects to withdraw consent at any time.
  • Direct Marketing. Where applicable we have revised the wording and processes for direct marketing, including clear opt-in mechanisms for marketing subscriptions, a clear notice and method for opting out and providing unsubscribe features on all subsequent marketing materials.
  • Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA). Where we process personal information that is considered high risk, involves large scale processing or includes special category data, we have developed stringent procedures and assessment templates for carrying out impact assessments that comply fully with the GDPR Article 35 requirements. We have implemented documentation processes that record each assessment, allow us to rate the risk posed by the processing activity and implement mitigating measures to reduce the risk posed to the Data Subject(s).
  • Processor Agreements. Where we use any third party to process personal information on our behalf we have implemented compliant processor agreements and due diligence procedures for ensuring relevant GDPR obligations are understood and met. These measures include initial and ongoing reviews of the service provided, the necessity of the processing activity, the technical and organizational measures in place and compliance with the GDPR.
  • Special Categories Data. Where we obtain and process any special category information, we do so in complete compliance with the Article 9 requirements and have high-level encryption and protections on all such data. Special category data is only processed where necessary and is only processed where we have first identified the appropriate Article 9(2) basis or the Data Protection Bill Schedule 1 condition. Where we rely on consent for processing we ensure that this is explicit and includes the right to modify or remove consent as applicable.

Data Subject Rights

In addition to the policies and procedures mentioned above that ensure individuals can enforce their data protection rights SmartServers provides information via email to individuals at their request to comply with their right to access any personal information that we hold or processes about them and to request information concerning:

  • What personal data we hold about them.
  • The purposes of the processing.
  • The categories of personal data concerned.
  • The recipients to whom the personal data has/will be disclosed.
  • How long we intend to store their personal data for.
  • If we did not collect the data directly from them, information about the source.
  • The right to have incomplete or inaccurate data about them corrected or completed and the process for requesting this.
  • The right to request erasure of personal data (where applicable) or to restrict processing in accordance with data protection laws, as well as to object to any direct marketing from us and to be informed about any automated decision making that may we use.
  • The right to lodge a complaint or seek judicial remedy and who to contact in such instances.

Information Security & Technical and Organizational Measures

SmartServers takes the privacy and security of individuals and their personal information very seriously. We take every reasonable measure and precaution to protect and secure the personal data that we process. We have comprehensive information security policies and procedures in place to protect personal information from unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction and have multiple layers of security measures in place including firewalls and threat detection, regular vulnerability and penetration testing, strict data and physical infrastructure access controls, password policies, data encryption, secure IT practices, and restrictions on access of all customer and other confidential data by unauthorized personnel.

GDPR Roles and Employees

SmartServers has a designated Data Protection Officer (DPO), who complies with the new data protection regulation. The Data Protection Officer is responsible for promoting awareness of the GDPR across the organization and implementing the new policies, procedures, and measures. SmartServers understands that continuous employee awareness and understanding is vital to our continued compliance of the GDPR regulations. An employee awareness program has been implemented to ensure continued compliance with regulations applicable to the GDPR.

Third party processors

UK / Brexit related considerations

The GDPR came into force before Brexit was finalized. Even though the UK will be leaving Europe the GDPR still applies to UK organizations who handle the personal data of EU residents. UK organizations providing services to EU residents and/or collecting personal data of any EU resident will need to take into consideration and comply with applicable requirements of the GDPR even after the UK leaves the EU.

The new Data Protection Act 2018 is a UK law and will continue enforcing the requirements of the GDPR post-Brexit. The UK Government is also seeking an 'adequacy decision' from the EU to continue to share personal data. If this is not forthcoming other options include seeking a bilateral agreement similar to the EU-US Privacy Shield, or for organizations to implement standard contract clauses or binding corporate rules that may add additional complexity and cost to data transfers.

EU-US Privacy Shield

SmartServers is not certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield. This is not necessary because SmartServers is a Canadian company and Canada benefits from an adequacy decision issued by the European Commission.

Cross-border data transfers to a recipient in a third country may take place without the need to obtain any further authorization if the European Commission has decided that such third country ensures an adequate level of data protection. Canada achieved adequacy status in December 2001 for transfers from the EU to Canada of personal data subject to the jurisdiction of the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Changes to our approach

Should our approach to any matter covered by this statement change we will ensure that our customers are notified via email of any relevant changes impacting their services with us.

Changes to this policy

Our GDPR Statement and associated policies may be amended from time to time to ensure the protection of sensitive systems and client data as well as compliance with relevant data security and privacy legislation. Appropriate public notice will be given concerning such amendments.

If you have questions regarding our GDPR Compliance or if you would like to file a disclosure (SAR) request please contact us by postal mail or e-mail as follows:

SmartServers
3-1750 The Queensway, Suite 1254
Toronto M9C 5H5 Canada
+1 416 352 5836
Email: privacy@smartservers.com

Effective Date: May 25 2018

 

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