Education verification has become a crucial step in assessing the credentials and educational background of prospective employees. During this process, an individual’s personal data, such as their name, date of birth, and academic information must be meticulously and accurately examined.
Though it is a seemingly straightforward process, all educational institutions, businesses, and related entities need to adhere the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Law when conducting verification. This law, which has been in effect since October 2022, is intended to protect individuals’ personal data against abuse, as well as unlawful use and disclosure.
Violation or non-adherence to the principles of the PDP Law can lead to dire consequences.
The Consequences of PDP Law Violations
The consequences may vary depending on the extent of the violation. While corporate entities or institutions may be subject to fines, additional penalties may apply for the breach of personal data privacy.
- Administrative Sanctions: Educational institutions, companies, and related entities that breach the PDP Law may be subject to administrative sanctions imposed by relevant supervisory bodies. These sanctions may include warnings and restrictions on data processing activities.
- Lawsuits: Individuals whose personal data has been misused or processed unlawfully under the PDP Law can file lawsuits against the violating institution or company. These lawsuits can result in significant financial losses and further reputational damage.
- Suspension of Activities: In cases of serious and repeated PDP Law violations, supervisory authorities or regulators can order the temporary or permanent suspension of data processing activities by the violating institution or company.
The repercussions of PDP Law violations highlight the significance of adopting proactive measures to mitigate the dangers of the violation of personal data privacy. Adopting new personal data protection regulations and procedures is an essential step to take towards compliance.
The Implementation of Policy Changes
Within the effective time-frame of two years following the enactment of these regulations, all parties must align with the PDP Law requirements, mitigate violation risks, and ensure enhanced protection of personal data privacy.
Several adjustments that must be made include:
- Obtaining Consent from the Individuals Involved: A few documents must be provided for both the request and verification process – a consent letter and a copy of the documents to be verified. Telephone-based verification requests can no longer be entertained due to the obligation to include physical or digital copies of consent letters and verification documents.
- Transparency and Accessibility: Information about privacy policies, the purpose of the verification, and the limits to the use of the collected personal data must be clear and easily accessible to the parties involved.
- Personal Data Security: Implementing data security measures is of the utmost importance. This involves data encryption, limited access to authorized parties, and other security measures.
- Data Retention Period: The personal data obtained for educational credential verification can only be retained for as long as necessary according to processing objectives. Once the retention period ends, data must be permanently deleted.
- Fraud Reporting: Parties involved in the verification process must have procedures in place to report and handle cases of fraud or falsification of personal data during the verification process.
Implementing these policies can be time-consuming and complex for institutions. A solution to this is collaborating with established third parties or educational verification platforms. One such platform that has adopted and is compliant with PDP policies is Education-Verification. Through a unified channel, this platform ensures efficiency and security of the data to be verified.