What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, or Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming AVG in Dutch) is a European ‘law’ on personal data protection. It is a new ‘law’ and practically all companies or government bodies will have to deal with it.

What does the GDPR apply to?

The GDPR applies to companies and government bodies that process personal data in connection with the activities of their business locations in the EU. In other words, these organisations use certain data relating to natural persons. This refers to e.g. storing such data, deleting it or sending it to third parties. Examples include your own employees’ HR data or your clients’ contact details.

For instance: Your employees travel about in cars whose geolocation is tracked by your organisation or by a third party. If you record who is driving which car at what time, or if it is at least possible to discover this, the GDPR will apply to you.

However, the GDPR also applies to companies that are not established in the EU if these companies sell goods or services to persons residing in the EU (e.g. a Chinese company doing this via a web shop), or monitor their behaviour (e.g. an American social network).

Why has the EU implemented the GDPR?

Firstly, the purpose of the GDPR is to give the persons concerned (greater) control over data relating to them. In this respect, their fundamental rights – such as the right to privacy – play a major role.

The fact that the European legislator is giving this matter priority is evident from the astronomical fines to be imposed: up to € 20,000,000 or 4% of the global annual revenue.

Secondly, the GDPR makes it easier for companies because a uniform legal framework has been elaborated which applies throughout the entire European Union.

When will the GDPR enter into force?

The GDPR will enter into force on 25 May 2018. You must make sure you have coordinated all your activities with the new obligations in this regulation to avoid risking sanctions being imposed.

How can I fulfil the new obligations in the GDPR?

You will find the most important new obligations in the GDPR in our blog.

Do you have any doubts or queries about how the GDPR is applied?

Please feel free to contact us. We can quickly provide clarity on the application of the GDPR and/or how this will affect your company or organisation.

This post is also available in: Dutch

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