General Data Protection Regulation
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to transform how organizations in every sector handle personal data, putting consumers in the driver’s seat to control their own data processing. You may not understand all of its implications, especially if your company operates outside of the EU.
For the first time, people have a say over who collects their personal data, when it’s collected, and how it’s used. With this regulation, companies are hit with penalties for data breaches and data privacy violations.
Applies to All Kinds of Personal Data
The GDPR requirements govern almost every data point an organization would collect, across every conceivable online platform, especially if it’s used to uniquely identify a person.
It also includes data routinely requested by websites, such as IP addresses, email addresses, and physical device information.
Impact on the United States
The European Union Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation in 2016 to replace a data protection initiative from 1995, but the changes weren’t enforced until May 25, 2018. There’s a misconception across the pond that U.S. companies that don’t do business with EU citizens or European companies are exempt. Not so fast.
The GDPR changes apply as much to organizations in other countries as they do to those within the EU. If any organization, EU or otherwise, offers goods or services to or monitors EU data subjects’ behavior, they’re on the hook.
While it will take more time than a few weeks to achieve full GDPR compliance, there is still time for companies to get started on the right foot with protecting their customer data for the long run. Put work-streams in place to help your human resources (HR) and production environments adapt to the regulations.
Now more than ever, the protection of customer data and privacy has global attention, and the world with GDPR will be a proving ground for companies to regain and maintain the trust of their customers.