- Created by Ann Base, last modified by Ylva Andersson on Jan 10, 2023
Nexus sees the EU's general data protection regulation (GDPR) as an important step forward in streamlining and unifying data protection requirements across the EU. We also see it as a great opportunity for us to strengthen our clear commitment to data protection principles and practices. It is as well fully in line with our recent ISO 27001 certification in Sweden.
Nexus strives to make it as easy as possible for our customers to comply with the requirements of GDPR, which was introduced on May 25, 2018. Therefore, a number of new features are included in the latest and upcoming versions of Smart ID Identity Manager. We will also continuously review the functionality of Smart ID Identity Manager in terms of GDPR.
The following functionality is implemented in Smart ID Identity Manager (from version 3.7), to help you to be compliant with GDPR:
The Smart ID Self-Service can be configured so that the user can login and see all his personal data. Also a PDF report can be configured so that all relevant information can be printed out on demand by an operator via the Smart ID Identity Manager Operator.
Access to any data in Smart ID Identity Manager always requires an authentication on the runtime system (Smart ID Identity Manager Operator or Smart ID Self-Service). Smart ID Identity Manager offers different methods for authentication, like basic password authentication to an internal database or to external user repositories like LDAP/Active Directory but also more sophisticated strong authentication with multiple factors, for example, with smart cards/certificate or SSO via SAML.
The access rights are restricted via corresponding roles in the system. The standard roles can be adapted and extended according to the customers’ needs, so operators/users will only see data that they are responsible for/have the need to access. The limitation of access to user data is done via permissions search filters and visible processes.
Smart ID Identity Manager is typically not a standalone solution but integrates with a number of subsystems/data sources in the customers’ environment (for example, HR systems, User Repositories, PACS systems, Follow-me Print, Canteen, Library etc.). Therefore it is important to define which system is the leading system for which data object. For user data typically a User Repository (HR, AD etc.) is the leading system. Therefore the correction of users should be triggered by this User Repository towards Smart ID Identity Manager. In the same way, Smart ID Identity Manager will have to trigger correction of card information based on an agreed rule set towards corresponding sub systems.
The connected systems as well as the rule set for correction has to be identified, defined and agreed upon.
All runtime data of Smart ID Identity Manager is stored in the Smart ID Identity Manager database. No data at all is stored on the Smart ID Identity Manager clients. On the Smart ID Identity Manager server, a small number of configuration files is stored, to define the overall behavior of the environment, for example, log level of the error log, and also the connection URL to the database. The database connection file can be scrambled so that the login credentials to the database are not visible for the Server Administrator.
The runtime data in the Smart ID Identity Manager database is mainly stored in plain text. Smart ID Identity Manager in general provides the possibility to encrypt data fields, for example, for sensitive data like PINs or passwords. The encryption itself is based on a hybrid algorithm (RSA/AES).
The encryption certificates will either be stored on the application server or optionally in a Hardware Security Module (HSM).
Furthermore, the customer can also activate encryption mechanisms that are provided on the database layer (for example, MS SQL or Oracle).
Smart ID Identity Manager provides functionalities to delete data objects: a process can be configured for manual deletion (by an operator in the Smart ID Identity Manager Operator). Rule-based deletion can also be done by Timer processes.
As Smart ID Identity Manager integrates with a number of subsystems/data sources in the customers’ environment, for example, HR systems, User Repositories and PACS systems, it is important to define which system is the leading system for which data object. Deletion of users should be triggered by the leading system. Smart ID Identity Manager will have to trigger deletion of card information based on an agreed rule set towards corresponding sub systems.
Smart ID Identity Manager secures that all changes can be tracked by a chained signature for all object changes. If single history records would be deleted, the signatures would be corrupt. For the timespan where the signature chain is kept (“verification window”) the records remain in the database when the corresponding object (for example a person or a card) is deleted. However, the data is not available in the user interface once it is deleted. There is an automated cleanup of the history, which removes entries outside of the verification window which is 12 month or more. From Smart ID version 22.10 and later versions, the customer can decide to keep the history data, with an audit-proof signature, or to deactivate the chained signature and delete the object history due to GDPR reasons.
A major part of GDPR is about internal routines. Organizations are responsible for personal data, regardless of whether it is a HR system, CRM system, security system, PACS system, real estate system or other. Each organization must ensure that staff handle personal data properly. This includes, among other things, having a legal basis for processing personal data, keeping track of the personal data being processed and the context in which to handle only the information necessary for the purpose expressed, deleting data when no longer required, and to inform and, where necessary, obtain consent from registered persons.
Please also observe that the GDPR acknowledges that data protection rights are not absolute and must be balanced proportionately with other rights – including the “freedom to conduct a business”. For more information on the ability of EU member states to introduce exemptions, see the section on derogations and special conditions.
As a regulation, the GDPR will be directly effective in EU member states without the need for implementing legislation. However, on numerous occasions, the GDPR does allow member states to legislate on data protection matters. This includes occasions where the processing of personal data is required to comply with a legal obligation, relates to a public interest task or is carried out by a body with official authority. Numerous articles also state that their provisions may be further specified or restricted by member state law. Processing of employee data is another significant area where member states may take divergent approaches. Organizations working in sectors where special rules often apply, for example health and financial services, should: (1) consider if they would benefit from such special rules, which would particularize or liberalize the GDPR; and (2) advocate these accordingly. They should also watch for member states seeking to introduce special rules, which may prove restrictive or inconsistent across member states.
This article includes updates for Smart ID 22.10.