General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Is Coming Soon

Peter PrinterThe GDPR Is Coming: Be Prepared!


“After almost half a decade of preparation and extensive debate; the GDPR has finally been approved by the EU Parliament as of 14 April 2016. And it will be enforced by 25 May 2018”

What is the GDPR?

The “General Data Protection Regulation” is a regulation that mandates and requires all businesses (in the territory that currently comprises the EU) to both protect the privacy as well as the personal data of all citizens of states that comprise the European Union, in terms of the various transactions that will occur within the territory of the union’s member states.

And non-compliance could cost companies dearly. Here is what every company that does business in Europe needs to know about the GDPR.

The EU’s 0 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) effectively replaces the older Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. It has been designed, to be able to effectively harmonize the various data privacy laws all across the EU, so that it will be able to both protect, as well as empower the Union’ citizens with regard to their data privacy, along with a bid to reshape the way the various business entities and organizations all across Europe, approach data privacy of all the people who reside therein.

The GDPR essentially extends the overall scope of the Union’s key data protection laws from European entities, all the way to foreign companies who may be accessing and processing the data of the residents(and citizens) of the EU.

Due to the harmonization effects of the GDPR throughout the EU, it is widely expected that the regulation will make it easier for even non-European companies to be able to comply with these regulations, as they exist currently.

The companies dealing with the private data of EU citizens were given a two year long transition period, so that they will be able to ensure full compliance with these new directives.

Be warned: Lack of compliance may invoke stiff penalties!

There are severe penalties that go up to four percent of the overall worldwide turnover or (alternately) $23.6 million, whichever may turn out to be higher.

Is “your’ company affected by the GDPR?

The GDPR’s regulations uniformly apply to just about any company that stores and/or processes the personal information of any individual who may be a resident of any of the EU 28 constituent states. Some of the criteria that business entities and organization are required to comply with, include the following:

  • A presence in any nation that is a constituent of the Union
  • The company has no presence in the Union itself, but nevertheless it processes personal data of union residents.
  • The company employs more than 250 employees.
  • The company has fewer than 250 employees on its payroll, but it conducts sensitive data processing operations that directly impacts the rights of data subjects.

Forewarned is forearmed!

It is important to remember that after the 2 year grace period, there is no excuse for lack of compliance. This is why any company, regardless of the fact that it is based in the EU or not, as long as it has access to the sensitive data of EU citizens and residents, will have to comply or face massive fines.

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