The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection law that was adopted by the European Union (EU) in 2016. It went into effect on May 25, 2018, replacing the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive. The GDPR applies to all companies that process personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the company is located. It is considered to be one of the most far-reaching and stringent data protection regulations in the world.
The GDPR establishes strict rules for the collection, storage, and use of personal data, including the following key provisions:
- Individuals have the right to know what data is being collected about them, for what purpose, and who it is being shared with. They also have the right to request a copy of their data and to have it corrected or deleted.
- Companies must obtain explicit, informed consent from individuals before collecting or processing their personal data. They must also ensure that data is accurate and up-to-date, and that it is deleted when it is no longer needed.
- Companies must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) if they process large amounts of sensitive personal data, or if data protection is a core part of their business. DPOs are responsible for ensuring that a company is compliant with the GDPR.
- Companies must report data breaches to the relevant authorities and, in certain cases, to the individuals affected, within 72 hours of discovering the breach.
- Companies found to be in violation of the GDPR can be fined up to 4% of their annual revenue or €20 million (whichever is greater).
The GDPR applies to all companies that process personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where the company is located, this makes it one of the most far-reaching and stringent data protection regulations in the world. Businesses need to be compliant with GDPR for example by implementing technical and organizational measures to secure personal data, and by appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO).