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Penalties for Violating GDPR Part 2

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is helping to enhance privacy for consumers whose personal data is irresponsibly handled by businesses. For many, GDPR is a blessing that helps uncomplicate the process of controlling your personal data, but for businesses, GDPR presents a bevy of new obstacles with severe penalties.

In part one of this two-part series, our Houston construction law attorneys examined the effect of GDPR in the United States and how tech giants are resisting the oncoming privacy legislation. In part two, we will examine the penalties for violating GDPR.

Determining Criteria

Although evaluating cases of GDPR noncompliance takes careful consideration for each individual case, a series of guiding principles ensures consistency among all data controllers and processors. The GDPR imposes harsh fines on businesses that handle personal data based on these 10 criteria:

  • Nature of Infringement: Overview of the infringement that includes information on the number of people affected, the damage they suffered, the duration of the infringement, and the purpose for processing their personal data.
  • Intention: Was infringement intentional or negligent?
  • Mitigation: The response taken in the incident of infringement. What actions were taken to mitigate the breach?
  • Preventative measures: The level of technical and organizational preparation implemented to prevent noncompliance with GDPR.
  • History: How past infringements, including infringements under the Data Protection Directive, and former corrective actions under the GDPR, dictate the degree of transgression in a case of noncompliance.
  • Cooperation: The level of cooperation exercised by the businesses in question and their willingness to aid the supervisory authority in their investigation.
  • Data type: The types of data impacted by the infringement.
  • Notification: How proactive was the firm’s response to a breach in personal data? Did they report the infringement directly to the supervisory authority, or was it reported by a third party?
  • Certification: The qualifications and certifications procured by a firm to adhere to GDPR laws before, during, and after an infringement.
  • Other: Any other mitigating factors that would require further investigation from a GDPR supervisory authority.

Assessing Penalties

The GDPR distributes lofty fines for noncompliance according to the most severe infringement only, even in cases of multiple violations. The lower level of fines can reach €10 million or 2% of the worldwide annual revenue of the previous fiscal year. The GDPR will select the more severe punishment to be incurred by the violator. The upper level of fines can reach €20 million or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue of the previous fiscal year. Once again, the penalty will be assessed at the highest value.

GDPR will soon affect all U.S. businesses. Our construction law experts can help you prepare for GDPR so you can stay compliant from the beginning.

If you would like to speak with a Houston construction law attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European Union (EU) law that enhances the privacy protocols for personal data use by businesses. GDPR raises the stakes for personal data privacy and sets a firm precedent for the rest of the world to follow.

Safely storing and using your customer’s personal data can be risky. Fortunately, a Houston contractor attorney can prevent you from violating GDPR. In part one of this two-part series, we will examine how GDPR affects the United States.

GDPR in the United States

Although the principles of GDPR are currently only being enforced in the EU, the regulations will have a tangible effect on U.S. businesses, and soon GDPR could become law domestically. Jerry Brown, Governor of California, recently signed a bill that follows the principles of GDPR. This bill will take effect in 2020. California is a state that tends to lead by example and is oftentimes the forerunner for new, occasionally radical, legislation.

Even now, U.S. businesses are feeling the effects of GDPR. Businesses that deal with clients globally using the internet can be based in the U.S. while violating the GDPR rules that govern a European client. This example illustrates the far-reaching implications of GDPR and the renewed support of privacy in the modern world, which the U.S. is expected to mirror sooner than later with its own landmark GDPR bill.

Tech Giants Oppose GDPR

The incoming wave of data protection and privacy requirements in California proves that stateside GDPR is imminent. If California truly embraces GDPR, it could accelerate the adoption of similar or identical laws among other states. However, states should expect considerable resistance from tech giants such as Google. One Google executive forewarned about the unintended consequences of GDPR, but failed to elaborate. CTIA, a trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the U.S., noted that state-specific rules would be confusing for consumers and lead to a suppression of innovation.

Resistance from tech giants is expected since many of these companies face criticism over their handling of personal data, specifically in regard to the actions taken upon discovery of a data breach. California’s proposed act is modeled after GDPR, but remains unique in a few key ways. For example, California’s act will only affect businesses that meet one or more of these conditions:

  • Annual gross of at least $25 million
  • Handle the information of 50,000 or more people, families, or devices
  • Half of annual revenue from the sale of personal information

GDPR is coming. Is your business prepared to protect your clients’ data? In part two, our Houston contractor attorneys will examine the severity of penalties businesses will likely incur for violating GDPR.

If you would like to speak with our Houston contractor attorneys, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

As a contractor, when you enter a new contractual agreement with a buyer, you know that your firm’s success depends on the details drafted into the contract. There are many different types of construction contracts, but not all of them are inherently suitable for your next project.

At Cotney Construction Law, our Houston construction lawyers are familiar with the various types of construction contracts. In part one of this two-part article, our team explored lump sum contracts and time and materials contracts. In part two, we will examine design-build and unit price contracts.

Design-Build

Design-build contracts task a single contractor with designing and building a structure for a project. Utilizing this type of contract benefits the buyer because they can save money by having a single entity complete two phases of the project while making the builder’s job easier since there’s no intermediary between the design and building stages of the project. In order for a single contractor to capably fulfill the buyer’s needs, they must be willing to provide in-depth, exhaustive detailing of the requested project. If the project enters the bidding process, contractors must be able to reasonably determine the necessary budget to complete the requested project. Certain projects require extensive planning and a singular vision to succeed. Despite the countless benefits of collaboration, a design-build contract is best served for projects with small, experienced teams.

Unit Price

When managing costs is vital to the success of a project, a unit price contract can help itemize each “unit of work” with a correlating value to create comprehensive price breakdowns for each party. By itemizing work into separately billed tasks, both parties can monitor expenses closely and reallocate costs according to a project’s ongoing needs. Flexibility is one of the boons of a unit price contract. Since you only work on one unit at a time, you can build the design alongside the buyer. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to estimate the total cost of completing a project and can lead to frustrating relationships with uncertain buyers, discrepancies in order quantities, inconsistent workforce requirements, and unreliable timelines.

Entering a contract with a buyer is exciting. The promise of new business is extremely enticing, and the chance to prove your worth to a client can help build your firm’s rapport. Unfortunately, you must carefully consider which type of contract will best serve you and your client. Signing the wrong contract can leave you tethered to a project that you can’t turn a profit on, so consult a Houston construction lawyer before making any rash decisions.

If you would like to speak with a Houston construction lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Construction contracts come in many different varieties, but they all serve the same principle function — to clearly summarize the rights and responsibilities of the contractor and the buyer. It is important to familiarize yourself with the different types of construction contracts to ensure your firm isn’t compromising its earning potential.

A Houston construction attorney can help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages associated with different types of construction contracts including lump sum, time and materials, design-build, and unit price contracts. Contracts establish the baseline for a project and drive it forward, so you want to make sure the contract puts you in an advantageous position to increase your profits and protect your interests. In part one of this two-part article, we will explore lump sum contracts and time and materials contracts.

Lump Sum

When you sign a lump sum contract, you are entering an agreement to complete a project for a fixed cost. The contractor agrees to complete all work defined in the contract for a lump sum, and the buyer agrees to pay this lump sum in full. The pricing on a lump sum contract takes into account the project expenses including materials, overhead, and profit. This contract is advantageous for the buyer, who agrees to a singular price they believe is fair for the requested project. If the contractor can cut costs or complete the project with less manpower and materials than anticipated, they can boost profits on a lump sum contract. However, if they underestimate the cost of the project, they can lose profits. Sometimes, contractors will utilize inferior materials and produce a lower-quality product to artificially save costs and increase profit.

Time and Materials

A time and materials contract bills the buyer at an hourly rate and charges them for material expenses. This contract is advantageous for contractors because they do not have to estimate the cost of completing a project like in the lump sum contract mentioned above. As we already explained, an unskilled estimate can result in severely depleted profits or massively inflated building costs. The buyer benefits because they only pay for the hours being logged by the contractor. However, there are two drawbacks associated with logging hours. Contractors can log unworked hours to increase their profit, or work slowly to boost the amount of time spent working on a project.

Understanding the differences between common construction contracts can help you make mutually beneficial deals with buyers and ensure that both parties are pleased when a project is completed. In part two, our team will examine two more types of construction contracts: design-build and unit price.

If you would like to speak with our Houston construction attorneys, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.