Gatekeeper and GDPR Certification

A particularly important focus area of the Gatekeeper project has been ensuring compliance of all performed activities with relevant legal, technical and organizational requirements at all stages of the project’s actions. As part of these activities, initial research showcased that since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data protection and privacy have become increasingly important for both European Union (EU) citizens and businesses operating within the Union. In this privacy-focused environment, GDPR certification has emerged as a valuable tool to showcase compliance and build trust in business operations.

In this context, WP8 of the project (particularly the tasks focused on certification and standardization), in coordination with WP1 has worked alongside multiple stakeholders to contribute to the development and specification of relevant compliance assessment criteria for e-health. These criteria were submitted to the European Center for Certification and Privacy for their incorporation into the Europrivacy certification scheme, and were officially adopted by EDPB as part of the core Europrivacy criteria, acknowledged as an official European Data Protection Seal under GDPR Art. 42 since August 2022.

This article explores the concept of GDPR certification, its criteria, and the benefits it offers to further showcase the potential impact of Gatekeeper’s contributions to the area and the opportunities this brings to health related organizations interested in showcasing compliance with GDPR requirements.

What is GDPR Certification?

GDPR certification, as outlined in Article 42 of the GDPR, allows businesses of all sizes to obtain data protection certification, seals, and marks to demonstrate compliance with privacy requirements specified by the law. Certification bodies, accredited by supervisory authorities, are responsible for issuing and renewing these certifications. The certification process evaluates factors such as the applicant’s data processing activities, technical systems used, and processes and procedures in place to manage data processing operations. The certification may also cover the legitimacy of data transfers to non-EU countries. Under the GDPR (and in accordance with EDPB guidelines), two types of certifications exist:

  • National: Certification schemes adopted at a national level by the relevant data protection authority for their use within their borders.
  • EU-Wide (European Data Protection Seals): Certification schemes which are not geographically limited as they are adopted by the EDPB, and can be thus used to demonstrate compliance in all EU countries.

Duration and Renewal of Certification:

Certification granted by a certification body can have a maximum validity of three years. It can be renewed under the same conditions if the criteria for certification are still met. Failure to meet the conditions may result in the withdrawal of certification by either the certification body or the supervisory authority.

Core Criteria for GDPR Certification:

While certification bodies may define additional criteria, the European Data Protection Board has established minimum requirements for GDPR certification. These include the lawfulness of processing, compliance with data protection principles, protection of data subjects’ rights, notification of data breaches, adherence to data protection by design and by default principles, conducting a Data Protection Impact Assessment, and implementation of appropriate technical and organizational measures.

Europrivacy Certification Scheme:

Europrivacy is the only EU Data Protection Seal which has been endorsed by the EDPB to address the goals of GDPR certification under GDPR Art. 42. Developed through the European research program, Europrivacy goes beyond the GDPR’s requirements by integrating complementary regulations and national data protection obligations. The scheme aims to reduce legal and financial risks, demonstrate compliance through an impartial body, and provide continuous support to maintain and enhance compliance as regulations evolve.

Why Choose Europrivacy?

Beyond its status as the sole officially recognized European Data Protection Seal, Europrivacy stands out among other certification schemes due to several reasons:

  • Comprehensive coverage of European and GDPR requirements, including emerging technologies.
  • Continuous updates to align with the latest regulatory developments.
  • Reliability based on a systematic assessment approach.
  • ISO compliance without compromising impartiality.
  • Independence and management by an International Board of Experts.
  • Global network of experts and partners for support.
  • Access to online resources and tools throughout the certification process.
  • Research and innovation empowerment.
  • Time and cost efficiency.

Europrivacy Certification Procedure:

The Europrivacy certification procedure follows a simple and thorough process:

  • Request a Europrivacy Welcome Pack.
  • Communicate commitment to data protection through the Privacy Pact.
  • Document compliance with the assistance of qualified partners and tools.
  • Select a Certification Body to assess compliance and address any non-conformities.
  • Obtain an authenticated Europrivacy Certificate demonstrating conformity.
  • Monitor compliance and update the certification every three years.

Choosing a Certification Body:

Selecting a reputable certification body is crucial when pursuing GDPR certification. The certification scheme’s quality and reputation in the market significantly influence the level of trust inspired in customers, partners, and other businesses. Certification bodies must meet specific criteria (GDPR Art. 43), including independence, expertise in data protection, adherence to supervisory authority criteria, the establishment of transparent procedures, and a demonstration of no conflicts of interest.


GDPR certification has become an essential means for businesses to ensure compliance with data protection regulations and inspire trust in their data processing activities. Choosing a suitable certification scheme, such as Europrivacy, is vital to successfully navigating the certification process and achieving the associated benefits. Europrivacy’s comprehensive approach, continuous updates, reliability, and independence make it a preferred choice for organizations seeking GDPR certification. By following the Europrivacy certification procedure, businesses can effectively identify and mitigate legal and financial risks, validate their data protection compliance, and enhance their reputation, market access, and customer trust.

Through its commitment to comprehensive coverage, ongoing updates, reliable assessment methods, and global support network, Europrivacy offers a robust framework for achieving GDPR certification. With its emphasis on research and innovation, Europrivacy ensures that organizations can adapt to evolving regulations and technological advancements while maintaining compliance. Furthermore, the inclusion in the scheme of tailored criteria formulated through the involvement of stakeholders involved in multiple research projects ensures their adequacy for their use in sector-specific data processing activities.

To facilitate the certification process, the European Centre for Certification and Privacy provides valuable resources, tools, and expert assistance. Applicants can request a Europrivacy Welcome Pack, communicate their commitment to data protection, document compliance, choose a Certification Body, and ultimately obtain an authenticated Europrivacy Certificate. Continuous monitoring and regular updates ensure the sustained compliance of certified organizations.

In conclusion, GDPR certification plays a crucial role in demonstrating compliance with data protection regulations and instilling trust among customers and stakeholders. Europrivacy, as a leading certification scheme, offers a comprehensive, reliable, and efficient pathway to achieving GDPR certification. By choosing Europrivacy, organizations will benefit from the results of EU-research projects such as Gatekeeper and reap the benefits of enhanced data protection compliance and market reputation.