The General Data Protection Regulation represents the European Union’s efforts to create one set of data privacy laws that regulate all member states. It required member states to adopt the regulations by May 25, 2018. Some countries made minor changes, but overall, it replaced the Data Protection Directive of 1995.
The GDPR determines how organizations can collect, process, and retain personal data. It also gave some control to EU residents regarding what companies can do with their data, such as whether they can sell it to third parties. When companies fail to comply, the GDPR can take enforcement action which can total billions of dollars in damages.
The issue of data privacy existed long before the internet. Even so, the internet created a new platform and vehicle for data to exchange hands. It also provided a treasure trove that companies exploited to market their products and ideologies to people, even when those things might prove harmful.
Things came to a head after the 2016 Presidential Election as agencies investigated the role Facebook and other social media companies played in allegedly spreading misinformation. This further compelled other countries to consider the potential effect social media and the internet could have on their electoral processes.
Here are some additional factors that prompted the creation of the GDPR:
The GDPR applies to any organization that handles the personal data of individuals in the European Union. Generally, it does not matter whether the organization has headquarters inside or outside of the EU. Consequently, even foreign entities serving EU residents must comply with the rules.
Here are some common examples of companies that might have personal data:
Personal data includes any information that someone can use to identify an individual. This data includes, but is not limited to, an individual’s name, address, date of birth, and IP address.
The GDPR establishes several critical requirements for organizations that process personal data. These requirements include:
Organizations that process personal data must also ensure that data is accurate and up-to-date. They must also provide individuals with a way to access their data and exercise their rights under the GDPR.
The GDPR establishes several enforcement mechanisms to ensure data controllers comply with its requirements. Fines can reach up to 4% of a company’s global revenue. The violations committed determine where the fines fall in that range. Here are some of the most well-known fines that have made headlines over the years:
The GDPR also gives individuals the right to file a complaint with the supervisory authority if they believe companies have violated their rights. This further returns control to consumers.
The GDPR made it possible for individuals to request to “be forgotten” by businesses, apps, and websites. Companies can only comply with this request if they properly archive and store the information about specific customers.
Archiving solutions make it easy to retain and later search for specific data. It also makes it possible to delete that data and comply with requests. In the event of an investigation, message archiving can also show proof of compliance and internal communications.
Are you ready to make it easier for your business to comply with the GDPR and subsequent data privacy requests? Get your LeapXpert demo today.