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As technology continues to advance, the amount of information flowing through the Internet is rather mind boggling. To give individuals more control over how their own private information is used on the Internet, the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union has been enacted. It is important to understand how this new regulation impacts both individuals and businesses.
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It was passed by the European Union, but it really applies to virtually anyone who has a presence on the Internet today. It states that any business or organization that uses any personal information gathered from its clients or customers must clearly state what that data is going to be used for and how it is processed.
An interesting part of the GDPR is that the information provided to customers must be easy to understand and easily accessible. In other words, it can’t be located in some fine print on an obscure page within the website, nor can it be filled with legal jargon. The GDPR came into effect back on May 25, 2018, and it is designed to provide individuals with more control over how their own private data is gathered and ultimately used. To better ensure that organizations are following the new regulations, it is helpful to consult with a GDPR compliance law firm.
To better understand what GDPR actually encompasses, it is first necessary to know what constitutes personal information. Essentially, this law treats personal information as any type of data that can end up identifying exactly who you are. This can include any specific biographical information, a person’s contact details, information gathered when the business or organization contacts the individual, any payment information, and photos of the person or their home. If any of this information is going to be asked for, the company must first get the consent of the individual. Any person also has the right to reject the gathering of any personal information as well.
What Are the Main Principles of GDPR?
There are seven main principles to the GDPR. They are as follows:
- Principle 1 – Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency
- Principle 2 – Purpose Limitation
- Principle 3 – Data Minimization
- Principle 4 – Accuracy
- Principle 5 – Storage Limitation
- Principle 6 – Integrity and Confidentiality
- Principle 7 – Accountability
The first principle dictates that businesses and organizations need to follow the law when collecting personal information and that such actions should be fully transparent in nature. The personal information must be gathered for a limited purpose that is spelled out in the GDPR. Only information that is necessary should be gathered. As principle three states, it must be related to a specific purpose. Principle four speaks to the fact that the information must be kept accurate. Any data that becomes obsolete should be deleted. It should only be stored for as long as is necessary. This is why there are provisions for storage limitations. Principle six talks about the confidential nature of all personal information and what must be done to ensure all data is kept safe and secure. Principle seven exists to mandate that businesses take all appropriate measures to prevent the loss or theft of any personal information that it gathers from customers or clients.
What Does GDPR Do?
The GDPR standardizes the digital economy so that citizens across the European Union know exactly how their personal information is being used. It also provides a way for individuals to lodge complaints, even if they are not physically resident in the country where the data was collected and used.
Who Does GDPR Apply To?
The GDPR is applicable to any business or organization that operates within the European Union. Furthermore, it applies to any entity outside of the EU that offers products or services to anyone resident inside the EU.
Many people see the GDPR as a step in the right direction when it comes to safeguarding private information. The regulation will likely continue to evolve in the coming years as businesses and individuals grapple with how best to remain safe in an online environment. For now, it is important to understand the nature of GDPR and how it applies to you specifically.