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EU data privacy law

EU data privacy law
Highlights

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important change in  data privacy regulation in 20 years. After four years of preparation...

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years. After four years of preparation and debate the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016. Enforcement date: 25 May 2018 - at which time those organizations in non-compliance may face heavy fines.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy. The key articles of the GDPR, as well as information on its business impact, can be found throughout this site www.eugdpr.org.

The GDPR was approved and adopted by the EU Parliament in April 2016. The regulation is going to take effect after a two-year transition period and, unlike a Directive it does not require any enabling legislation to be passed by government; meaning it will be in force from May 2018. The GDPR not only applies to organisations located within the EU but it will also apply to organisations located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behaviour of, EU data subjects.

It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location. Organizations can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover for breaching GDPR or €20 Million.This is the maximum fine that can be imposed for the most serious infringements e.g.not having sufficient customer consent to process data or violating the core of Privacy by Design concepts. What constitutes personal data?

Any information related to a natural person or ‘Data Subject’, that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address. Parental consent will be required to process the personal data of children under the age of 16 for online services; member states may legislate for a lower age of consent but this will not be below the age of 13.

A regulation is a binding legislative act. It must be applied in its entirety across the EU, while a directive is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve. However, it is up to the individual countries to decide how.

(Courtesy: https://www.eugdpr.org)

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