The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) is set to come into effect on the 25th of May 2018 and will strengthen the rights of individuals online, while creating significant obligations for businesses operating in an increasingly connected world.
The regulation applies to information which directly or indirectly identifies an individual, including customer lists, contact details, genetic/biometric data, and online identifiers like IP addresses. While the EU GDPR builds on the prior EU Data Protection Directive, it brings significant changes in several areas. All organisations globally that process personal data either relating to the offering of goods or services, or the monitoring of activities of EU residents, will need to comply.
The new regulation will require organisations to strengthen existing controls, implement new processes and procedures, and document, embed and evidence them appropriately. Organisations will also have to consider the best ways of enabling individuals to exercise their rights surrounding their personal data and its use.
The EU GDPR is therefore a game-changer when it comes to the collection, processing and storage of personal data, and one with global implications. As such, organisations need to evaluate their existing position, prepare for the impending changes, and ensure their data protection systems are robust going forward.