If you are keeping up on technology and business news, you have probably heard the initials GDPR being thrown around and have probably gotten the sense that it is pretty important. Like most people you have probably also been getting tons of emails from the companies and brands you interact with stating they have new privacy policies in place due to this mysterious GDPR. But what exactly is GDPR and why do you need to be concerned about it?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it is standard put in place by the European Union to make all of Europe ‘fit for the digital age’ and to help protect its citizens from any privacy issues due to data breaches and other shenanigans. The compliance deadline for all organizations to meet this GDPR standard was May 25th, 2018.
Under these GDPR policies all organizations operating in the EU, as well as any organizations outside of the EU that offer their goods or services to customers or businesses in the EU, need to ensure that the personal data they collect is done so legally and under strict conditions. They also have to ensure that they will protect that data from misuse or exploitation. If they fail at this endeavor they will be subject to penalties. In other words, if your business collects sensitive data from its customers you are responsible for what happens to that data so you better have strong protections in place.
In order to become compliant most businesses here in the U.S. that wish to do business in Europe will have to update their privacy policies the reflect all the standards that are reflected in the new GDPR and the quicker you do it the better. If you do not currently do business with European entities or citizens, technically you don’t have to meet these standards, however, it wouldn’t hurt to do so anyway. For more information on how to get your business GDPR compliant this GDPR: A Cheat Sheet might be a helpful starting point.
Now this is just a brief, simplified version of GDPR. To read a more in depth accounting of what is involved in making your business compliant you can read this article by ZDNet here.
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