The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation set forth by the EU that governs the protection and dissemination of personal data and enhances digital privacy for people located in the EU.
The GDPR’s primarily goal is to serve as a unifying, comprehensive, data and privacy framework for any organization that controls or processes data from anyone in the EU.
Ultimately, the GDPR is:
- Strengthening individual privacy rights
- Simplifying the handling of personal data in the course of international business
- Imposing punishments and other penalties on businesses that violate its requirements
There’s a lot more to it than that, so let’s get into the details of the GDPR.
Why is the GDPR Necessary?
The Data Protection Directive and Data Protection Act of 1995 laid the initial structure for European privacy laws and compliance.
However, with new and increasing data creation, handling, and storage challenges, a result of the meteoric rise of social media and cloud computing, the Data Protection Directive lagged behind.
The fragmented nature of individual nation’s privacy laws led to inconsistent enforcement throughout the EU, leaving internal, and foreign, business owners blindly navigating their way through data compliance procedures, often coming up short.
Now, instead of 28 countries relying on their own interpretations of what constitutes data protection and compliance, they are provided with structured and uniform guidance.
With the implementation of the GDPR in early 2018, the EU now boasts the most comprehensive and protective digital privacy regulatory framework in the world, striking an effective balance between privacy and data protection rights and fundamental human rights and other public and private interests.
GDPR Legislative Fact: The GDPR was drafted as an upgrade to the 1995 Data Protection Directive, ultimately harmonizing and synthesizing a collective of privacy regulations into one manageable and unified source.