The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a new EU Regulation which replaces the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive (DPD) to significantly enhance the protection of the personal data of EU citizens and increase the obligations on organizations who collect or process personal data. It will come into force on May 25, 2018, but it builds on many of the 1995 Directive’s requirements for data privacy and security, but includes several new provisions to bolster the rights of data subjects and add harsher penalties for violations. The full text of the GDPR can be found here.
While the current EU legislation (the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive) governs entities within the EU, the territorial scope of the GDPR is far wider in that it will also apply to non-EU businesses who a) market their products to people in the EU or who b) monitor the behavior of people in the EU. In other words, even if you’re based outside of the EU but you control or process the data of EU citizens, the GDPR will apply to you. Since every business is different and the GDPR takes a risk-based approach to data protection, companies should work to assess their own data collection and storage practices, seek their own legal advice to ensure that their business practices comply with the GDPR.
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