As I’ve spoken with people (security people and “civilians”), I’ve found many who had no idea that the GDPR was a thing. I know Americans tend to have a very US-centric view of the world, but the GDPR is critical for any business with a presence, customers, or clients in or from the EU.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC with an effective date of 25 May 2018 (so about a year to get ready).
The GDPR clearly expresses the central difference between the views of American and EU. The GDPR “[p]rotects [the] fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to protection of personal data.”
In the US, personal data is typically seen as the property of the holder of the data. The EU expressly views personal data as the property of the person. This difference makes the GDPR distinct from US data breach notification laws.
There are a number of key items to review in the GDPR:
- Increases extra-territorial applicability
- Conditions for consent strengthened
- Privacy policies may “no longer be able to use long illegible terms and conditions full of legalese . . . the request for consent must be given in an intelligible and easily accessible form. . .”
- Breach notification must be made within 72 hours
The GDPR guarantees the Data Subjects’ Right to Access. The Data Subject may:
- “Obtain from the data controller confirmation as to whether or not personal data concerning them is being processed, where and for what purpose. . .
- Further, the controller shall provide a copy of the personal data, free of charge, in an electronic format.”
The GDPR also formalizes the “Right to be Forgotten”
“Data Subjects have the right to have the data controller erase his/her personal data, cease further dissemination of the data, and potentially have third parties halt processing of the data.”
Non EU companies that do business in the EU or have customers that are citizens of the EU or live in the EU will have to comply with these regulations for their EU data subject. Any non-compliant organizations will face heavy fines.
So, get ready folks. You don’t have much time to explore and internalize the GDPR.