AFTER WE'VE ALL RECEIVED countless emails about it, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has finaly come into force.
Originally adopted in April 2016, the rules of GDPR will now apply fully to all businesses or else fees will be levied against those that don't comply.
GDPR replaces the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, and it means all organisations operating in the EU have to abide by its new rules. Importantly, organisations outside the EU, like US-based companies that target consumers in the EU, monitor EU citizens or offer goods or services to EU consumers (even if for free), also have to comply.
The GDPR also applies to "controllers" and "processors". What this means, in summary, is that those currently subject to EU data protection laws will almost certainly be subject to the GDPR and processors (traditionally not subject) will also have significantly more legal liability under the GDPR than was the case under the prior Directive.
Warnings and orders or fines can be imposed on firms that are breaking the new rules. The maximum ceiling for fines in the most serious infringement cases is four percent of the company's total worldwide annual turnover.
"With the General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union sets a global standard and ensures that fundamental rights, consumer protection and fair competition are strengthened," said German politician of the Greens-European Free Alliance, Rapporteur Jan Albrecht.
"For the first time, the same high level of data protection rules apply to everyone in the European Union; the new EU-wide rules replace a patchwork of 28 different national regulations."
Just yesterday, hours before deadline, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website experienced serious borkage issues.
When we tried to download a PDF guide to the legislation from the site, it stalled for around 2 minutes. When the PDF finally appears, instead of the full guide, we got the front cover, and on page 2, an error message which read:
"We're sorry, but our website is unavailable at the moment. Please try again later."
Not great timing, but is likely a result of the site not being able to handle a huge influx of people who had obviously left it to the last minute to sort their sh*t out. µ
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