Data Privacy and Security

EU finally approves GDPR

It’s been four years in the making, but the European Parliament has finally voted through major reforms to data protection within the European Union.

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules – first proposed in 2012 to replace regulations from 1995 – were voted in today and will come into force in April 2018.

The new rules govern what data is kept, where, and how. Data privacy, the right to be forgotten and how information is transferred outside the EU will be affected. Some organizations will be required to appoint a data protection officer (DPO) while data breach notification will be mandatory.

The penalty for non-compliance is harsh – up to 4% of global revenue for the previous year, or €20 million (£15.8m) depending on which is greater.

“Today’s approval of the General Data Protection Regulation is by far the largest shake-up of data protection rules so far this century," said Michael Hack, SVP of EMEA Operations at Ipswitch. "Businesses now need to introduce a risk management exercise that identifies the key processes and assets, and evaluates their vulnerabilities and potential threats."

"Whilst the financial burden of compliance will be a significant one, it looks like the burden of non-compliance will be a whole lot harder to swallow."

The Parliament also passed the Data Protection Directive, a new set of regulations that sets minimum standards on the use of data for policing and judicial purposes.

Is it time to panic? Probably not. But responsible organizations should start to prepare for the new rules now so they are fully compliant when GDPR & DPD come into force.


Additional Reading:

EU GDPR: Why are firms lagging on preparation?

EU privacy law to require opt-in and make data processors share in responsibility

It’s UK versus Europe in the battle over data protection


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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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