Guidelines 4/2018 on the accreditation of certification bodies under Article 43 of GDPR
SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION
1.The General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘the GDPR’), which comes into effect on 25 May 2018, provides a modernised, accountability and fundamental rights based compliance framework for data protection in Europe. A range of measures to facilitate compliance with the provisions of the GDPR are central to this new framework. These include mandatory requirements in specific circumstances (including the appointment of Data Protection Officers and carrying out data protection impact assessments) and voluntary measures such as codes of conduct and certification mechanisms.
2. As part of establishing certification mechanisms and data protection seals and marks, Article 43(1) of the GDPR requires Member States ensure that certification bodies issuing certification under Article 42(1) are accredited by either or both, the competent supervisory authority or the national accreditation body. If accreditation is carried out by the national accreditation body in accordance with ISO/IEC 17065/2012, the additional requirements established by the competent supervisory authority must also be applied.
3. Meaningful certification mechanisms can enhance compliance with the GDPR and transparency for data subjects and in business to business (B2B) relations, for example between controllers and processors. Data controllers and processors will benefit from an independent third-party attestation for the purpose of demonstrating compliance of their processing operations.
4. In this context, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) recognizes that it is necessary to provide guidelines in relation to accreditation. The particular value and purpose of accreditation lies in the fact that it provides an authorative statement of the competence of certification bodies that allows the generation of trust in the certification mechanism.
5. The aim of the guidelines is to provide guidance on how to interpret and implement the provisions of Article 43 of the GDPR. In particular, they aim to help Member States, supervisory authorities and national accreditation bodies establish a consistent, harmonised baseline for the accreditation of certification bodies that issue certification in accordance with the GDPR.