The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation of the European Union (EU) that came into effect on May 25, 2018. It replaces the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive and strengthens EU data protection rules. The GDPR applies to any organization that processes personal data of individuals in the EU, regardless of whether the organization is based in the EU or not.
The GDPR sets out strict rules for the collection, storage, and use of personal data. Personal data is defined as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. Some examples of personal data include name, address, email address, IP address, and even location data.
The GDPR gives individuals certain rights with respect to their personal data, including:
- The right to be informed about how their personal data is being collected and used
- The right of access to their personal data
- The right to have their personal data corrected or deleted
- The right to object to the processing of their personal data
- The right to have their personal data transferred to another organization
Organizations that process personal data must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) and implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data. They must also notify the relevant authorities of any data breaches that occur.
The GDPR also imposes heavy fines for non-compliance, up to €20 million or 4% of the company’s global annual revenue for the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. Organizations that handle EU citizens’ data, regardless of their location, must comply with the GDPR or face severe penalties.