Offit Kurman Attorney Published in Law360
The General Data Protection Regulation is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. It addresses the export of personal data outside the EU. The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU. When the GDPR takes effect, it will replace the 1995 Data Protection Directive, Directive 95/46/EC. The GDPR was adopted on April 27, 2016, and becomes effective May 25, 2018. Unlike a directive, it does not require national governments to pass any enabling legislation and so it is directly binding and applicable.
What follows is a compilation of information gleaned from internet and other research into the GDPR, setting out some of the basics.
The GDPR seeks to create a harmonized data protection law framework across the EU and aims to give citizens back the control of their personal data, while imposing strict rules on those hosting and ‘processing’ this data, anywhere in the world. The regulation also introduces rules relating to the free movement of personal data within and outside the EU.
Individuals are increasingly data-savvy and:
- Understand how brands use their data for sales and marketing purposes
- Are aware of their rights regarding their personal data
- Are concerned about the well-publicized threat of cyber data theft
Most organizations are concerned about the potential significant financial penalties the regulation can bring (severe penalties of up to 4 percent of worldwide revenues or 20 million euros, whichever is higher), but forward-thinking companies have been planning for the impacts of GDPR in advance.
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