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How We Achieved GDPR Compliance For A Major Producer of Auto Electronics and Spare Parts

Data protection for a commercial platform with multiple tenants

Though our customer’s name is under an NDA contract, we’re able to make a short review of the business for this case study.

Project Background The client provides a commercial platform where auto owners and workshops can meet. It offers users a wide range of services, advertorial opportunities, as well as community interaction. K&C has been its standing partner in terms of platform development for seven years.

Find out more about our collaboration.

Client’s Request Due to the entry-into-force of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) on 25th May 2018, every company functioning within Europe or processing the personal data of EU citizens is obliged to rearrange the way it deals with client-sensitive information.

In our client’s case, these are a user’s name, address, data about their car and lots of other data stored (e.g., booking of services, tax reports, uploaded files, vehicle diagnostic data, vehicles traffic, etc.). As the platform of our client fell within the scope of the regulation, the question arose how they could technically optimize their platform, considering the legal nuances.

Challenge

Because there is no single database for user information in terms of the microservice architecture, the task is to make a vast number of services work within a single business process, considering the data specifics of the platform’s external customers (tenants).
The K&C team has to develop a technically flexible solution that allows for the customization of every single platforms’ tenants by referencing specific features of its authentication process and the necessity to confirm user actions. Therefore, we have to design a solution that would provide the whole set of GDPR required services per a tenant (tenant groups), as well as enable the involvement of external services and modules in the GDPR process.

Solution

We created a bpm-based service in terms of the microservice architecture that will be responsible for a GDPR process.

IT INCLUDES THREE PARTS:
Support for the right “to be forgotten”

Support for the right “get to know the gathered information”

Support for the right “move your data to the other system”

Powered by the Spring Cloud Stream framework, which is developed above Stream IMQP and on the base of a message broker RabbitMQ, we developed a message base inside our system. This is to provide a connection with all of the services dealing with customer-sensitive data.

Another GDPR condition we had to realize was to enable a user to make a query regarding any aspects of their data and get a report in a “human” readable form. K&C experts chose the PDF format as the most appropriate way to represent a user’s data.

AWS S3 is used to store the user's data gathered by their request within the GDPR process. It’s worth mentioning too that the services that hold user's data subscribe for the GDPR process automatically.

But as microservices hold different pieces of user's information and cannot generate PDF documents out of the raw data of their domains, we had to centralize the document generation feature. To ensure this and not to mix it with direct responsibilities of the business services, the team introduced a dedicated service for the PDF generation. Such files are saved as a ZIP-archive, to which users receive access.

Benefit
Given that the GDPR is a legal document, the non-compliance of which may result in a substantial fine, so the process we undertook helped the client avoid such a problematic situation. That is why the development process started in a timely manner and saved the client money.
Value Gained
Delivering customers quality services is only part of the story for our client. The security of personal data is what defines whether a customer will be loyal to a business. Therefore, by being GDPR compliant, our client gained one more market advantage.

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